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The Cloak and Dagger - Nephthys
The darkened atmosphere in this room may be due to more than a few broken lights. Entering, one immediately notices several drunken patrons already collapsed into their drinks, and a rowful of empty stools and window-side tables stretches deep to the center of this rectangular room. The bar itself, surprisingly, looks extremely well kept and clean. Behind it is a display of perhaps hundreds of kinds of alcohol, some the offspring of two or more. The end of the bar introduces several tables, a large empty floor, and even more insensate patrons.

Fire wheels to face her but turns to face the customer, "Hello"

Roberts arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Fire says, "You were in last night...how may I help you?"

Cree nods to the customer, still watching Fire

Vechkov grunts a greeting. "The usual. Whiskey."

Cree nods, "Coming right up."

Vechkov turns slowly as he sees Roberts. "Captain...how's the ship?

Roberts glances cooly around the bar and moves to join Vechkov

Cree fills a tumbler full of good whiskey and slides it over to Vechkov

Fire looks at the human, "I think I know you by reputation, sir"

Vechkov takes the tumbler, then nods and slides into a booth, gesturing for the captain to join him

Fire walks from the far side of the room

Roberts shrugs slightly, moving onto a barstool "What would ye be expectin?

Roberts glances dismissively at the Qua and motions for the bartender to bring him a beer.

Fire shrugs, "Not too much. But you know a Willis...what was his last name?

Fire says, "He seemed to prefer just Willis"

Vechkov grumbles into his drink. "You know, I looked all over this damned place for cigarettes. Not a damn stick in sight. Shippers are holding out till they're sure nothing huge is blowing our way from you know where."

Roberts nods taking a long drink from his glass.

Fire hms, "Odd. I don't seem to have any trouble getting supplies" turns to go behind the bar

Vechkov glances toward Fire. "What about this Willis fellow?"

Cree watches the men

Fire reaches under the bar and pulls out a pack of cigarets, "Will these do?" slides them over

Roberts looks suspiciously at the pack, then glances at Vechkov.

Fire says, "And nothing too much about Willis. He just told me how to recognize his Captain...Roberts isn't it?""

Vechkov smiles with the wrinkles around his eyes as he accepts them. "In a pinch, I expect they will. Thanks." Takes the pack, then notices the look from Roberts. "No one's out to ice a nobody PI with cancer sticks. Damn things will kill me eventually anyway."

Fire grins at the Ungstiri

Roberts sits up slowly. "Ye have me at a disadvantage there, boy"

Fire says, "Out here, why worry about cancer"

Vechkov nods slowly. "And I don't think I've been formally introduced either."

Roberts watches the bartender warily

Vechkov tears the cellophane on the cigarette pack.

Fire nods across, "My name...well, in English it's Fire in a Dark Sky"

Vechkov taps out one of the cigarettes, then sticks the pack into a pocket, where it can be heard crinkling among other crinkling items. He pulls a scuffed silver lighter with something engraved on it from the same pocket.

Fire says, "You may call me Mr. Dark Sky..and this is my partner, Cree Blackthorn"

Cree nods at Roberts

Willis arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Fire turns to the Ungstiri, "And you are?"

Willis runs in, almost barging through the doors.

Vechkov nods. "The name is Prague. Vechkov Prague." Snaps open the scuffed lighter and ignites the cigarette.

Roberts nods gruffly to the pair, then turns as Willis enters.

Vechkov cuts a slow burning look at Willis. "Pants on fire, son?"

Willis is sweaty, he looks over his shoulder, outside the door.

Fire says, "Captain, your man there and I were discussing some fittings I might be able to provide for your ship"

Roberts narrows his eyes. "Oh?"

Cree wipes down the bar, idly listening to the conversation

Willis takes some sporatic breaths, he stumbles back towards the bar, ignoring everyone.

Vechkov seems rather curious about the sweaty lad, sipping his whiskey

Fire says, "Intra-ship Communicatons mostly"

Fire says, "An intercom system, hand held Commlinks"

Roberts moves to avoid Willis and his sweaty touch. "What the...?"

Vechkov grunts. "Someone stand by with a Zangali tranq."

Fire points tu the news terminal, "We have two versions of those"

Willis squeezes past Roberts, headed towards the bar...

Roberts pushes an empty glass and some money across the bar toward Fire.

Fire looks at Willis with puzzlement all over his face, "What's wrong, Willis?"

Willis leans over the counter, breathing hard, "Barm...barm... barm..."

Willis says, "Barmaid! Cree!..."

Vechkov rolls his eyes. "Kid's losing it."

Vechkov drags on his cigarette and puffs out acrid bluish smoke.

Fire flinches as he expects Cree's reaction

Roberts' eyebrows practically meet in the middle. "What in the world is the matter with you, Son?

Willis coughs roughly, he looks around, looking pale. "Haack! Help! Throat!"

Vechkov thumps Roberts. "Been letting him sleep by the OS drive again?"

Roberts grins at that.

Willis turns around, flailing his fingers over Fire's shoulders. "Coff-Coffee!"

Fire slides the money over to the cash register then picks up the glass

Vechkov fairly marvels at Willis with his squinty eyes.

Cree pours a cup of coffee

Willis points frantically between his throat and Fire's chest, "Throat! Coffee! Bad!"

Cree says, "There you go"

Fire steps out of Cree's way as he cleans the glass

Willis turns, shaking his head at Cree, "No! No! Ack!"

Cree says, "What, you idiot, my coffee is great!"

Vechkov chuckles softly

Cree says, "You're nuts"

Willis coughs, turns paler, and keels over.

Fire leans over the bar

Vechkov says, "Ah. Heartburn from bad coffee?"

Willis is sprawled underneath the barstools.

Fire says, "I loved it. Great coffee"

Vechkov hrms as he stares at the unconscious lad. "Someone really ought to revive the boy."

Willis is getting paler by the minute.

Fire seems nonplussed, "Allergic reaction?"

Cree goes over and draws a pitcher of cold water

Fire walks around from behind the bar and kneels over Willis

Vechkov shrugs. "Kid's wigging out. Shoulda seen this coming."

Cree brings it over and stands near them

Roberts watches the incident unfold, a look of mild amusement on his face.

Willis is still on the floor, looking miserable.

Fire takes the glass of water from Cree and raises Willis' head by the back of the neck

Fire hmms as he sees down his throat

Fire says, "Call a doc"

Willis chokes on the water, splurting it all over the place.

Fire says, "His throat is red and swollen closed"

Willis is still unconscious.

Cree says, "Ohhh, no"

Roberts frowns. "Well, now"

Vechkov kicks his feet up on the table. "Or a mortician."

Cree says, "I'll go back to the place where we saw the doc this morning?"

Fire says, "I think it is an allergic reaction...we need something to stop the reaction or he'll suffocate"

Fire says, "Cree, hand me my knife first"

Cree says, "That doctor left tho"

Vechkov nods curtly. "Yeah, a knife could stop anything."

Cree nods and hurries behind the counter, pulling Fire's knife out

Fire says, "And a straw"

Roberts scowls at Fire. "Hey, laddie. I need my shiphands!"

Fire reaches for them

Vechkov fairly grins with the wrinkles around his eyes. "Hell, and I thought I'd be bored tonight."

Cree brings it back to him

Roberts says, "Have too few to spare as it is."

Cree goes back to get a straw and comes back to kneel beside him

Fire raises Willis neck to an odd position

Cree says, "I know what you're going to do, I've done it on horses"

Fire says, "If he can"

Willis opens his eyes slowly. "Mmm..."

Fire says, "If he can't breathe through this hole..."

Cree says, "What do you want me to do to help?"

Fire says, "We'll give him a new one till a doc can get here"

Roberts stops his protests, now seeming morbidly curious

Willis sees Fire, a knife, and a crazy look in his eyes.

Fire says, "Cut that straw..a couple of inches is all"

Fire says, "Willis, can you breathe?"

Vechkov sips his whiskey.

Willis screams, "GAH! What're you doing?!?"

Cree nods and pulls her own knife out, cutting a 2 inch piece of straw

Vechkov nods. "Yeah, kid's long gone."

Roberts frowns in disappointment

Willis pushes Fire away, standing up quickly. He bangs his head under the bar.

Fire lays the knife beside him, "It's OK"

Willis falls over again.

Vechkov shrugs and puffs on his cigarette. "And so much for the floor show." Chuckles.

Fire shakes his head, "Swelling subsided, I see"

Roberts gives a long sigh and turns back to the bar

Willis is sprawled over the floor yet again, though. Face down.

Vechkov points a beefy finger at the lad. "Born under a bad, bad moon, I guess."

Fire takes a quick look at Willis' head and rolls him over

Fire raises his neck again to see into his throat

Cree holds Willis' hands still

Fire says, "Hmmm"

Willis looks dead, almost. Except, he's mumbling something.

Roberts puts his palms flat on the bar.

Fire says, "I've never done this...but it looked simple enough on the demo tape"

Vechkov chortles. "How hard could it be? Poke a hole in his neck and be done with it."

Willis mutters, eyes closed, "My...brain..."

Fire takes his bowie knife in one hand and feels Willis' neck with the other

Willis says, "Yeee! COOOLLLLLDD!!"

Willis holds his neck, and squirms around on the floor. "Yer hands are freezing!"

Cree watches him.

Fire finds the spot he's looking for and moves the knife to it but pulls it back when he hears Willis yell

Fire says, "If you can get that much air out, you can get it in"

Willis scoots away against the underside of the bar, panting heavily.

Vechkov grumbles. "Poke him anyway."

Roberts says, "You never know when a hole might close up again. Cut through."

Willis isn't so pale anymore. In fact, he looks rather flustered.

Fire grins at Vechkov, "Someone's gonna need to hold him pretty still first."

Vechkov waves a beefy hand dismissively.

Cree grins

Willis stops grasping his neck.

Fire says, "Maybe if the Captain banged him on the head with that pommel..."

Willis says, "You...you...had a knife..."

Roberts stands, ready to oblige

Fire says, "I did...it's called a tracheotomy"

Fire says, "Now, can you breathe again?"

Willis looks around, disoriented, "A what?"

Roberts stands over Willis, looking down and shaking his head. "Thought you were made of tougher stuff, Boy"

Fire says, "A new mouth."

Vechkov coughs, chuckling.

Vechkov draws on his cigarette, the tip flaring red. "Kid, you need to see a headshrinker."

Roberts jerks a finger at Vechkov. "Something *he's* going to have if he keeps it up with those things"

Vechkov rolls his eyes. "Spare me, brigand." Chuckles.

Fire says, "But if you're gonna make such a fuss about a little hole in the throat...I guess you don't need it now anyway"

Willis looks at Cree, eyes wide.

Roberts puts the toe of his boot into Willis' ribs. "Get on yer feet, Boy"

Willis squirms away, and stands up quickly.

Fire stands and reaches down to Willis, "Come on."

Vechkov drinks his whiskey.

Willis bumps his head under the bar again, though less loudly...

Fire walks back behind the bar and replaces his knife

Vechkov says, "How do you suppose the lad keeps managing that?"

Roberts turns back to the bar, shaking his head in obvious disappointment

Willis fumbles after Fire. "Wha happened?"

Roberts climbs onto a stool and eyes Fire. "Now that the excitement is over, any chance of getting another drink?

Vechkov draws on his cigarette.

Cree says, "Willis, You need a doctor"

Willis blinks.

Cree says, "And shame on you for blaming my good coffee"

Willis looks at Cree suddenly. "Your coffee rendered me unconscious."

Cree growls, "It did NOT."

Cree says, "If you don't like it, you can just leave"

Willis mutters, "Well I didn't drink anything else." He moves to the bar.

Willis massages his temples. His stomach grumbles.

Cree looks over his unappetizing appearance, "Who knows where you've been or what you've gotten into"

Willis looks at Cree, eyes really wide.

Willis faces down to the bar again, sighing. "My head hurts."

Cree says, "Then go to a doc."

Willis says, "There's no doctor here."

Cree says, "I'm not giving you anything after what you said about my coffee."

Vechkov nods gruffly. "Used to be."

Roberts glances at Willis, frowning, then turns to Cree "If I promise not to choke, what are the chances of *my* getting a drink, Love?

Willis says, "My head hurts.""

Cree says, "I give you aspirin, and you'll accuse me of poisoning you again"

Cree grins at Roberts, "Another beer?

Roberts nods, almost reflectively. "Sold"

Vechkov leans back at the bar. "Had a doctor here what, two months ago. Seems he removed a fellow's leg, and the fellow didn't much appreciate it. The fellow hired a tough to space the doctor out in the nebula."

Cree nods, and draws him a mug of icy draft beer

Cree says, "There you go"

Cree says, "We need a doc here, full time"

Roberts nods appreciatively, passing some coins over the bar. "Lovely, lovely"

Vechkov chuckles. "Trouble is, lady, finding someone willing to risk the wrath of an unhappy customer."

Willis grabs his hair, mumbling.

Cree nods slowly

Willis cranes his neck up slowly, a hand holding his head, "Hmmm..."

Roberts takes a long pull off the drink.

Vechkov drags deeply from his cigarette, the tip flaring red. "Ya know, a doctor with some guts could make a killing out here."

Willis blinks, as if suddenly realizing something, he grabs his head. "Owwch.."

Roberts tilts his head as if suddenly interested. "Ye think that, do ye?

Vechkov nods brusquely. "Why not? High demand, given the frequency of injuries. Low supply. It's a medic's market."

VanMahr arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Vechkov smiles with the wrinkles around his eyes. "If I knew a trachea from a tibia, hell, I might take the job."

Roberts nods slowly, ignoring Willis. "Not a bad idea. And someone so inclined would pay a handsome penny to come out here"

Roberts shrugs dismissively. "Who would argue with ye?

Cree says, "I would think so..."

Willis is stooped over the bar, holding his head protectively.

Cree waves to the newcomer.

Vechkov bahs. "I don't have the...um...patients for it."

VanMahr rubs irritably at the back of his neck as he pads into the bar. His nose wrinkles in recognition as he returns Cree's nod. "Beer. One glass."

The base computer announces: "The S'nelmar has docked."

Vechkov arches his eyebrows at the unfamiliar name.

Willis blinks, squinting up at the speakers.

Willis mutters to himself.

Roberts mouths "S'nelmar", then downs his beer quickly

Cree draws a mug of draft beer and pushes it across the counter

Roberts slaps Vechkov on the shoulder and slides off his barstool quickly. "Time to beat it, my friend"

Vechkov takes a serious drag from his cigarette, then exhales smoke harshly. "No doubt."

Roberts tips an invisible hat to Cree and winks. "No time for ye today, darlin'. Maybe some other time?"

Vechkov eases off his stool to stand.

Cree nods, "Remember, we have good merchandise here."

VanMahr allows himself a double take at Roberts before sitting. A brow climbs. He nods to himself. Lastly he claims his beer.

Cree says, "For your ship"

Vechkov chuckles. "Not for long, if my guess is right. Lock up your valuables."

Roberts winks, turning for the door.

Roberts heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Vechkov limps to the door.

Roberts and Vechkov head down to the casino...

The Lucky Charm Casino - Nephthys
Whirling lights and the abuzz of patrons occupy every corner in his room. The casino houses a roomful of frenzied greed stretching into the thick crowd of table players, slot machines, and...women employees. The atmosphere is chaotic yet grouply focused at each game, so that one fateful gamble can produce a flood of cheer at one table, or flood of moaned defeat. Focusing your concentration elsewhere than your games might drift a glance towards the disguised ceiling cameras, but allow the slip of a hand, or chip.

Roberts and Vechkov are here.

Adeax arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Roberts holds his cards up a bit higher.

Vechkov stands near a roulette table, hears the unpleasant clickity clack of something coming in and grumbles.

Adeax glances about..standing at the doorway..

Vechkov takes a deep drag off his cigarette, tries to look casual as he puffs smoke. "Lost...friend?"

Roberts slaps down two cards and motions to be dealt two more

Adeax stares at the Ungstiri.. "No, and I am not your friend, softskin.."

Vechkov shrugs. "Just trying to be neighborly. My mistake."

Adeax walks over to the table where they sit and sits himself..

Vechkov arches his eyebrows. "You want in?"

From across the room at the poker table, Roberts glances furtively at Vechkov.

Adeax says, "Affirmative"

Vechkov laughs, smiling with the wrinkles around his eyes. "You must be kidding."

Roberts folds.

Adeax glances at Vechkov. "I do not 'kid'"

Vechkov chuckles. "Well, I do not play poker with psychic critters."

Here's what Adeax looks like: The first thing you notice about this creature is its huge, multi-faceted eyes which reflect all the light that touches them. His exo-skeleton is a dark black, almost the color of space itself. He stands bipedal with two sets of arms, the first ending in huge claws almost like that of a lobster and the others into talon-like claws. He wears nothing over his 5 foot tall body, because there is not much need when he wears an exo-skeleton.

Roberts pushes his chair back slowly, nods to the men at his table and heads toward the door.

Vechkov grunts as pleasantly as he can as he approaches the door himself.

Roberts brushes past a particularly lovely barmaid on his way out.

Roberts heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Lower Promenade - Nephthys
The Lower Promenade is crested by the circular catwalks of the above Promenade. This area takes the form of something akin to a large marketplace. Various shops and other places of business line the outside walls and are even more people here than upstairs in the Promenade entrance. The main clusters seems to be about the casino, which is overflowing with people and noises. There is also another area, seemingly another part of the promenade.

Roberts and Vechkov are here.

Adeax arrives from The Lucky Charm Casino - Nephthys.

Vechkov hears that infernal clacking again

Roberts wanders to the Promenade

Roberts heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Adeax follows them out, still glancing around.

Vechkov follows Roberts

Adeax heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Lower Promenade - Nephthys
This is the second part of the Lower Promenade. It consists of a few run-down shops and one of the bases most popular bars. There are fewer people here than in the other part of the Lower Promenade, and you get a slightly chilled feeling as you notice some of the scragglers that are hanging around, seemingly almost once with the shadows.

Roberts heads into The Cloak and Dagger - Nephthys.

Adeax heads into The Cloak and Dagger - Nephthys.

You head into The Cloak and Dagger - Nephthys.

The Cloak and Dagger - Nephthys
The darkened atmosphere in this room may be due to more than a few broken lights. Entering, one immediately notices several drunken patrons already collapsed into their drinks, and a rowful of empty stools and window-side tables stretches deep to the center of this rectangular room. The bar itself, surprisingly, looks extremely well kept and clean. Behind it is a display of perhaps hundreds of kinds of alcohol, some the offspring of two or more. The end of the bar introduces several tables, a large empty floor, and even more insensate patrons.

Roberts wanders in nonchalantly

Vechkov shakes his head, grumbling

Cree watches the men return

Cree says, "You're right about the bouncer"

Willis is stooped over the bar, looking miserable.

Roberts surveys the room and chooses a booth near the back.

Vechkov limps slowly to the bar. "Guess who's coming for drinks."

Adeax glances around as he enters... "Which one of you is Roberts? I have a business proposition.."

Vechkov jerks a thumb at the bug.

Willis turns around, frowning.

Willis says, "GAH!"

Roberts stops short of the booth and turns, chest out.

Willis spins around from the bar, startled.

Roberts says, "Who wants to know?"

Cree blinks then covers her surprise

Adeax turns to the one who asks.. "I do.."

Vechkov tugs on his fedora and slips onto a stool.

Willis stares at the Mekke, eyes wide.

Cree says, "What can I get you all?"

Roberts shifts his weight. "Oh, now. You'll have to do better than that."

Vechkov mutters "Bug spray. Lots of it."

Willis glances to Vechkov, and then to Adeax.

Roberts looks the bug up, then down and waits.

From the depths of Vechkov's mind comes a searing pain with the words.. "I do not appreciate your attitude towards me, softskin"

Vechkov winces suddenly and then snaps a look around at Adeax. "You keep your tinkering out of my head, freak!"

Cree pours a glass of whiskey for Vechkov and a mug of beer for roberts.

Willis startles at Vechkov's sudden outburst. He turns to the Mekke, mouth open.

Adeax says, "I am Adeax of Ist'thol'mek"

Adeax completly ignores Vechkov..

VanMahr sips his beer. His attention on the lovely painting over the bar. Just another patron. Just another patron whose hand slowly slips down to rest on the butt of a blaster in a quickdraw holser on his thigh. Lovely painting.

Cree gives the men their drinks

Willis turns around, facing the bar. He looks over to Cree. "Hey..."

Cree looks at the Mekke. "Can I get you anything?

Roberts lifts his chin, looking down at the Mekke. "And what business would you have with me if I *were* Roberts?

Vechkov rubs his forehead, snarling at the bug.

Willis faces over his shoulder, at the Mekke.

Roberts ignores the frosty drink, letting its condensation pool on the bar around it.

Adeax says, "You are Roberts, I wish to offer you the chance of a lifetime."

Cree stands behind the bar, listening and watchful

Vechkov grumbles. "Beware of freaks bearing gifts."

Willis waves a hand over the bar, "Psst, hey!"

From the depths of Vechkov's mind the pain comes again..even more fiercly..

Roberts balances his weight on the balls of his feet and crosses his arms. "You have my attention"

Willis clenches his teeth, directing his will at Cree, but glancing over to the Mekke occassionally.

Vechkov suddenly seizes back, slams against the bar and collapses flat on the floor in a whiskey-stained heap.

Willis throws his hands up, hearing the sudden bang of a body on the floor.

VanMahr spares Vechkov a quick glance. "Shoulda stuck to beer."

Cree leans over to Willis

Vechkov writhes in the floor, shrieking "STOP IT!" Clutches his head, his fedora falling away, his curls coming unbound

Willis stares wide-eyed at Vechkov for a moment, before realizing Cree is beside him.

Roberts sees Vechkov and takes a defensive pose. "What the...?

Adeax says, "You have heard of the Nalls have you not?..I offer you the chance to earn the profit of a lifetime trading with them..their economy is in ruins..they need trade..I have a way to get you inside their border.."

VanMahr thumbs the safety catch off with a flick of his thumb. The low hiss of a weapon charging is hidden by Vechkov's screams.

Willis jumps again, startled by the Qua. He mutters in a low voice, "God.."

Adeax glances at VanMahr.. "That is unwise.."

Vechkov slowly reaches a beefy, shuddering hand toward the bug. "STOP IT! STOP THE PAIN!"

Fire wipes the spilled liguid from the bar

Roberts looks from Vechkov to the Mekke "And this is what? A demonstration of your trading tactics?"

The pain stops in Vechkov's head.

Willis leans towards Cree, "Cree, tell me you sell weapons too..."

VanMahr's back doesn't seem to have much to say to Adeax. He sips his beer.

Vechkov suddenly eases into a fetal position, shuddering, but the screaming stops and fades to harsh gasping.

Cree looks at the Mekke, "You there! You will not do my customers like that or you can leave now!

Adeax glances at Roberts again.. "I do not trade..I come to offer the proposition..he was unwise to insult me.."

Vechkov coughs. "And you call us *softskinned.*"

Willis closes his eyes, shirking from Vechkov, while throwing all his energy towards NOT looking.

Cree glances at Willis, shaking her head slightly

Adeax looks to Cree.. "If that is your wish, ma'am"

Fire wipes over to the end of the bar

Vechkov slowly gets to his feet.

Roberts watches Vechkov rise, saying nothing for a moment.

Vechkov rubs his head, keeps his squinty eyes locked on the bug and says "I hate the way you think."

Willis turns around swiftly, facing the Mekke from across the room. He is terrified, yet takes a small weave of relief at Vechkov's person.

Fire looks at the bug, "You have a name?"

Adeax says, "Is it not true that you are soft skinned and I am hard?"

Vechkov staggers back to his stool.

Roberts turns an icy glare on the Mekke. "Then who do I have to thank for this wonderful opportunity?"

Vechkov cuts his losses in the conversation and settles for having a long, meaningful chat with a tall glass of whiskey.

Adeax says, "The Nalls offer you this wonderful oppurtunity..they are desperate for trade.."

Roberts cocks his head. "ALL of the Nalls? Damn."

Cree watches Adeax

VanMahr turns on his stool with feline languidity. He rests elbows back against the bar. One gloved hand on the grip of a holstered blaster. A dead tired gaze flicks between Roberts and Adeax.

Willis reaches into his jacket, rummaging for something.

The captain's eyes burn into the Mekke "I want to know who sent you"

Vechkov glances over at VanMahr. "They also have some swampland on Ydahr they want to sell."

Willis stops, realizing something. He looks all over the floor suddenly.

Adeax says, "The leader of the economic order sends me.."

VanMahr's scowl deepens at Vechkov's words - almost an inverted smile. But his bland pokerface is immovable.

Roberts folds his arms again. "Well, now. That wasn't so difficult, was it?"

Adeax says, "No, it was not."

Fire says, "From what you're telling us, it's more like economic disorder"

Roberts jerks a thumb at the booth in back. "Step into my office. I'll be right with you."

Fire half grins, "Fringe speciality

Adeax nods slightly...following robert..

Vechkov laughs and shakes his head, shivering at the clacking sound of Adeax's movement.

Vechkov says, "Goddamned bugs."

Roberts strolls casually, too casually to the bar and takes the mug which has warmed considerably during the upheaval.

Fire whispers to Cree.

VanMahr's forehead wrinkles with something like surprise but the emotion doesn't travel as far as his eyes. "Bug's not the one going to hell."

Adeax stands with his back to a wall..watching Roberts..

Cree watches them all warily, stepping closer to Fire

As he passes, Roberts slips a small piece of paper into one of Vechkov's pockets.

Cree nods at him

Vechkov pats his pocket, then sips his drink.

Roberts takes his drink and strolls back to the booth.

Roberts says, "Bottom line this proposal for me.""

Vechkov leans over, speaking softly to VanMahr. "If the Nalls are looking for economic trade and sending a bug to do their panhandling, I'm a bleeding Castori."

Fire drops his towel and stoops to pick it up

Willis glances around the room, he seems more surprised at the sudden loss of tension...

Adeax follows him to the booth..sitting down as best he can..opposite of Roberts.. "Bottom line..we need the goods that we cannot get from inside our empire..you can deliver and will be paid handsomely."

VanMahr snorts softly. "The Nalls know who Roberts is. I believe in coincidence as much as I believe in the plasma faerie."

Willis searches his pockets again. He looks around the room, and moves towards the bar.

Roberts says, "You, of course, are referring to items like scented stationary and fine perfumes?""

Roberts raises an eyebrow

Fire stands back up

Vechkov strains to overhear and chuckles

Willis ducks underneath the counter, looking up and down each stool...

Roberts raises his drink to his lips and waits.

Adeax says, "No, I am not..I talk of metals..they have over mined their planets.."

Cree nods at Fire

Fire whispers to Cree.

VanMahr slips the saftey back on his blaster and turns back to the bar counter for his mug.

Cree whispers to Fire.

Roberts looks ceilingward. "Metals... metals... Like the kind used to make weaponry?

Fire grins and leans to Cree

Fire whispers to Cree.

Willis mutters a curse. He darts looks across the length of the bar, appearing as if he'd lost something.

Cree leans over to Fire, then grins at his words.

Vechkov scratches his stubbly chin and stares at the ceiling. "Unbelieveable."

Adeax says, "No, sir..the kind to make buildings and such"

Roberts nods "Ahh. Noble"

Roberts says, "And this would be done on a percentage basis, no doubt?""

Fire leans on the bar, not even trying to hide his interest in the conversation at the table

Adeax stares at him.. "Yes"

Willis glances towards the exit, hesitant.

Roberts nods, drumming his fingers on the table in thought.

VanMahr murmurs softly to Vechkov. "This guy /is/ the same Roberts as captains the Black Swan, Mister Prague?"

Fire stands and leans again to Cree

Roberts suddenly smiles. "Well, it sounds as if this is a can't miss deal"

Fire whispers to Cree.

Vechkov nods to VanMahr

Fire whispers to Cree.

Fire grins and leans on his elbows again

VanMahr grunts. He slides his mug back. "Another one if you've got it, Cree."

Roberts says, "You know, it's funny.... the leader of the economic order and I have a mutual friend... Uhm, what is his name again?"

Cree blinks at him

Roberts leans in toward Adeax

Cree whispers to Fire.

Adeax glances at Roberts.. "It is highly unlikely that you and the leader of the economic order have a mutual friend..the Nalls are very Xenophobic"

Willis glances towards Adeax, suppressing a sudden shudder. He turns about, placing his hands on the bar.

Vechkov smirks. "Ain't that a contradiction then."

Roberts studies the Mekkes' face carefully, a slow smile spreading on his rough face. "Humor me?"

Fire whispers to Cree.

Adeax says, "Humor?"

Willis glances to Adeax, and then to Cree. "Hey.."

Roberts mouth twists into a snarl. "His name"

Adeax says, "His name is Sn'Narian.."

Cree smiles at Fire

Vechkov says, "Is he one of the Chicago Sn'Narians?"

Roberts sits back slowly, still watching the Mekke. "And your name. What is it?"

Willis pssts to Cree.

Fire chuckles at Vechkov

Adeax says, "I have told you it is Adeax"

VanMahr just shakes his head and looks up into the heavens.

Cree listens to Willis

Willis mutters to Cree, "Look, sorry about that, uh, weapons thing...listen, I lost something."

Vechkov shakes his head, sucking on his cigarette and muttering, "Bloody hell. He was blunt enough with *me*. I wonder when our arthropodic friend will finally cut to the chase."

Roberts looks the bug up, then down and stands. "I won't be able to help you. I have a full schedule."

Cree whispers to Willis.

Willis looks sideways, suppressing an embarrassed look. "Um, a little bag."

Adeax clicks softly.. "Very well..I will find someone else.." he then stands and walks to the exit..

Roberts turns for the bar, mug in hand.

Adeax heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Roberts mutters.

Fire sees Vechkov's drink getting low and refills it

Vechkov breathes a sigh - is it relief, perhaps - at the bug's departure.

Roberts slides the mug across the bar to Cree and nods curtly

Willis notices the bug suddenly leave. "Jeez..."

Vechkov rolls his shoulders and grunts. "He ain't going anywhere."

Fire says, "Didn't like his terms, Captain?"

Vechkov shrugs. "Except maybe for backup."

Fire hms

VanMahr smiles at least. "Bug did make a couple mistakes." A pause. "Coming here alone was one."

Roberts blows a mouthful of air and shakes his head to Fire. "Didn't like anything about him"

VanMahr says, "Second was assuming he was the one I was going to shoot."

Vechkov hrms at that. "Indeed."

Vechkov say, "Who *were* you planning to shoot?"

VanMahr rises slowly and nods to Cree. "I'll be back for that second beer."

Roberts gives Vechkov a quick elbow to the ribs. "Let's head out before he comes back with the whole damn ant colony."

Cree nods at Willis.

Fire nods to Roberts, "Understandable...never liked a man with no sence of humor"

Vechkov laughs and nods to Roberts. "Let me finish this whiskey first."

Cree whispers to Willis.

VanMahr just eyes Vechkov. "Anyone who threatens my ship or my crew."

Fire says, "Capt..."

VanMahr smiles.

VanMahr never smiles.

VanMahr pads to the door.

Roberts looks to Fire, glancing occasionally back to the door.

Fire says, "Think that intercom equipment might come in handy?"

Fire stands facing the door as he speaks

Vechkov considers VanMahr's last statement, puzzles over it, then shakes his head

VanMahr heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Roberts says, "I'll have to get back to you on that."

Vechkov polishes off the whiskey. Smacks his mouth. "Ah, well."

Fire nods, "Understood. I have to order it from my source anyway

Vechkov gives Fire 50 credits.

Fire says, "Thanks"

Vechkov nods as he hands the credits to Fire.

Vechkov reaches up to tug on his fedora, only to find it is not there. He growls, looks around, sees it on the floor.

Fire says, "Sorry the atmosphere got interrupted"

Vechkov mutters "Been expecting it for three days."

Fire says, "We'll call the fumicators right away"

Vechkov slips off his stool, makes sure he can still stand straight, then limps to where the hat is.

Vechkov bends over, grunting, and picks it up.

Cree glances after Lansing, frowning a little

Vechkov stands straight - or as straight as his rather permanent slouch will allow - and returns the fedora to its usual resting place on his scalp.

Adeax arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Vechkov heads for the door, then gasps, seeing the bug again

Fire eyes the door

Fire says, "Forget to order your drink?"

Vechkov steps out of the creature's shadow. "Boy, I was just missing you."

Willis turns, seeing Adeax and jumping. "Christ!"

Adeax glances at all their reactions.. "Have you never seen a 5 foot tall bug before?"

Willis puts a palm over his chest, sighing.

Fire grins, "Recently"

VanMahr arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Roberts slowly glances over his shoulder at the Mekke, then turns back to his drink

Vechkov gives the bug a wide berth as he continues for the door.

Willis coughs.

Fire says, "Want a beer, whiskey...anything else Adeax?"

VanMahr follows in leisurely after the Mekke. Several measured paces behind. He rests a shoulder against the frame of the door.

Adeax sits down at the bar.. "What do you serve?"

Fire says, "Anything it seems"

Vechkov pushes past VanMahr, but stops to lean toward VanMahr for a moment

Fire grins

Vechkov whispers, "Keep an eye on Roberts. That bug is here to snatch him up for the other night, I guarantee it." to VanMahr.

Roberts stands, stretching his back.

Adeax says, "Sugar water..37% sugar.."

VanMahr nods to Vechkov.

Fire waves by the rack behind him, "Sugar water...hm"

Vechkov turns his head to look over his shoulder at the creature, then nods to VanMahr and heads out, limping.

Fire gets a glass and a measuring spoon

Vechkov, Willis and Roberts gather in an abandoned shop on Nephthys soon after…
Shop - Nephthys
This is relatively small room. About the right size for some sort of retail store or small propaganda outlet for larger companies or groups to use as they please. At the moment it is completely empty, however, there are outlets for power sources and various other equipment to be added later.

Roberts arrives from Promenade entrance - Nephthys.

Willis arrives from Promenade entrance - Nephthys.

Willis follows Roberts in closely. He appears a little confused...

Roberts clenches his teeth. "I smell trouble"

Roberts looks up to Willis. "The other night. You manned sensors, did you not?"

Vechkov sits on a box in the corner.

Vechkov glances toward the door, keeping his back to the wall.

Willis blinks, "Right."

Roberts looks to Vechkov. "If the Nalls want me to haul for 'em, they'd not send a bug"

Willis glances to Vechkov, looking a bit distracted.

Vechkov laughs wickedly. "As if they would trust us to haul for them. This ain't about economic trade."

Roberts looks indignant.

Roberts says, "Aye, it's not."

Roberts turns slowly to Willis. "This is about you, Boy"

Willis blinks, "What?"

Willis says, "Me?"

Vechkov lets his eyes drift slowly to Willis.

Willis looks at Vechkov, "Why? I don't like bugs!"

Vechkov says, "It's about *us*, friends."

Roberts slaps Willis' cheek soundly, then holds his face for a moment. "That's what it is, all right."

Vechkov says, "Like I said the other night....We were there. The Nalls know it. And they want answers. So, the lizzies send a brain drainer to start snooping around."

Willis looks a bit pale, "Well...geez, I don't know anything!"

Roberts' fingers press into Willis' skin as he thinks.

Willis grabs Robert's hands, pulling them off. "Gawd! What're you doing??"

Roberts says, "Aye, Boy. You know more than you think. And they don't know how much you know."

Vechkov says, "I imagine the bug has orders to find out, one way or another."

Roberts begins to pace, hands folded behind him.

Willis looks to Vechkov, "But he...I know, he...did that..telepathic..."

Roberts says, "And the only one they know for sure was on that ship is me."

Vechkov sighs. "Captain, it's too bad your ship is still...under repair."

Roberts looks up suddenly. "That's it. You knew that man in the bar. He mentioned that he has a ship.

Vechkov smiles with the wrinkles around his eyes. "Funny thing is, his ship ain't in such great shape either."

Willis looks between Roberts and Vechkov, mouth zipped.

Vechkov says, "And freighter traffic has dropped to a practical standstill since the big ... well, you know."

Roberts says, "Well, it'll do a might better than no space suit and a good swift kick out the airlock."

Vechkov chuckles. "If only that's what the Mekke had in mind. Hell, at least you'd be dead in 32 seconds."

Willis turns, pacing the other side of the store. He is holding his head, worried, frantic.

Vechkov shrugs. "Look, something we gotta consider..."

Roberts listens, arms folded.

Vechkov says, "If we *don't* tell the Mekke what we *do* know, he's going to pry it out of us, one way or another. If we run, they'll assume we had something to DO with the loss of that ship and send a damned fleet."

Roberts says, "And suppose we tell him and he isn't the trusting sort?"

Vechkov shrugs. "Then...we'll figure something else out."

Willis blinks, he stares outside the shop.

Roberts shakes his head. "No thank you, kindly"

Willis says, "We're dead. Oh god, we're dead. Dead..."

Vechkov stands, easing upright. "Well, I don't plan to hide out here till that bug finds me. I'm taking the action right to him."

Roberts watches Vechkov intently.

Roberts says, "Damn you"

Vechkov tugs on his fedora. "You two might be able to catch a tramp. I can buy you time."

Vechkov says, "Maybe jump a shuttle to the Consortium."

Willis turns to Vechkov, "Consortium??"

Roberts' eyes narrow. "You mean run?"

Vechkov says, "I'll stall the bug. Tell him what he needs to know. Yeah, if you want to run and hide - that's a pretty good place to do it."

Willis seems angry, "What the hell, I'm not going to the goddamn Sorties..."

Willis flails an arm in the air, he turns, moving towards the exit. "You two are insane...what the hell am I doing here..."

Roberts waves dismissively. "Quiet, Boy"

Willis continues to babble on, "Geesus, why did I ever freakin' even..."

Vechkov chuckles, then limps to the door. "Pretty damned expensive 10000 credits."

Roberts says, "All right, Prague. We'll try it your way."

Vechkov nods.

Back in the tavern…
The Cloak and Dagger - Nephthys
The darkened atmosphere in this room may be due to more than a few broken lights. Entering, one immediately notices several drunken patrons already collapsed into their drinks, and a rowful of empty stools and window-side tables stretches deep to the center of this rectangular room. The bar itself, surprisingly, looks extremely well kept and clean. Behind it is a display of perhaps hundreds of kinds of alcohol, some the offspring of two or more. The end of the bar introduces several tables, a large empty floor, and even more insensate patrons.

Roberts arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Cree leans over to Fire

Willis arrives from Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Vechkov limps back in and stands just a few feet inside the doorway. He points a beefy finger at the insect. "Excuse me, Mr. Bug, sir."

Roberts stands in the doorway

Willis enters, close to Roberts. He darts his eyes around the bar room.

Cree whispers to Fire.

Adeax says, "We need refined steel...not of the type from ships..it lessens in strength after sitting in space.."

Adeax glances at Vechkov.. "Yes?"

Fire nods to Cree

VanMahr glances back to the door and the new arrivals. His scowl deepens as he leans away from the bug and any possible splashing that might occur when it's splattered.

Vechkov says, "You can stow the bilge about trade. We know why you're really here."

Fire drops his towel again

Vechkov lets his hand drop to his side.

Adeax says, "And why would that be?"

Vechkov says, "This has something to do with a little disaster on the border, I assume. Maybe three nights ago?"

Fire bends down to get it reaching Cree's hand and pulling her with him

Adeax says, "I was not aware of any disaster.."

Vechkov scoffs.

Vechkov suddenly forgets everything about it..

Cree ducks down to help Fire

Fire whispers to Cree.

Vechkov shakes his head, suddenly dizzy.

Vechkov staggers backward.

Vechkov bumps into Roberts and then looks around.

Fire whispers to Cree.

Fire stands back up

Willis looks suddenly to Roberts, he moves to Vechkov...

Adeax glances at Vechkov.. "Is something wrong?"

Roberts takes a step forward, thumbing a leather strap to free his sidearm.

VanMahr's blaster clears his holster. "Can you do two of us, friend? That mind trick?" A thumb slaps at the saftey bar. "Or you going to act like a businessman?"

Vechkov glances around and sees Roberts. "My apologies, sir." Notices the gun. "And it was just an accident."

Fire's hand is at his side

Cree nods and reaches for something

Cree stands back up

Adeax turns to VanMahr.. "I do not understand what you are talking about"

Vechkov extends a hand to Roberts. "Name's Prague. Vechkov Prague."

Willis stops in his place, beside Roberts. He is near the door, keeping his eyes widened at Vechkov.

Roberts looks into Prague's eyes trying to find something of his friend.

Willis looks over to Adeax, mouth open.

Fire is looking at the back of Adeax's head

Roberts frees his blaster and levels it at the Mekke's head. "Drop it or die"

Willis turns, seeing the blaster out.

Willis says, "Jesus..."

Adeax says, "Drop what? I have nothing in my hand.."

Cree watches all of them...

Hmmmm. Red blinks into green in a strobe over the barrel of VanMahr's blaster. It winks at Adeax. "Now. You settle down. You too Roberts. I need this station intact. We want an incident here?"

Roberts says, "Drop your hold on him or I will paint this room with your blood."

Vechkov looks down at his extended hand, dangling out there like an unnecessary participle, then lets it drop, shrugging.

Willis darts his eyes to Vechkov, looking up and down the man...

Adeax says, "I have no hold on him.."

Fire pulls his bowie knife and holds it ready

Roberts says, "Say something, Vech"

Vechkov notices Willis staring at him. "Have we met?"

Cree keeps her hand below the bar

Roberts shifts his weight, moving closer to the Mekke. "That wasn't what I wanted to hear"

Willis doesn't answer Vechkov, his eyes are wide, his expression, revealing something of fear, along with realization...

VanMahr sighs almost inaudibly. "Roberts." His weapon remains covering the Mekke. "If his brothers and sisters come I hope your ship is ready to fly and it can fit my crew too."

Vechkov lets his gaze drift back to the bug and seems startled at the sight.

Willis glances to Robert's arm, to the weapon.

Adeax says, "I think it would be best if everyone came with me.."

Fire says, "Adeax, I suggest you undo whatever you did to him"

Vechkov grumbles something, then reaches into his pocket and pulls out a nearly full pack of cigarettes. "What the hell?"

Roberts' voice is a low growl. "Restore him now. Don't make me count"

Vechkov blinks.

The sense of forgetfulness goes away

Roberts says, "Restore him, now."

Vechkov shakes his head, as if ridding himself of cobwebs.

Adeax glances at Robert.. "Very well.."

Vechkov glances back up at the bug. "I'll be damned! I come in trying to help you and you pull this crap?"

Adeax says, "And if I am here about that incident??"

Cree is standing behind the bar with Fire, watching everything

VanMahr's weapon covers the Mekke as well. "Then saying so might get you some answers."

Vechkov jerks thumbs at Roberts and Willis. "We were there. You came for answers, we can give them to you. But cut the crap."

Adeax says, "All right..tell me where the ship has gone.."

Willis glances around the roomful of blasters, holding his breath.

Vechkov says, "I have absolutely no idea on that one, pal. Your guess is as good as mine."

Vechkov lights a cigarette with a scuffed, engraved silver lighter.

Vechkov slips the lighter back into his pocket, puffs on the cigarette and gazes calmly at the bug.

Adeax says, "You do not tell the truth..you have the ship.."

Vechkov laughs. "Buddy, if we had a ship, would we be sitting here talking to *you*?"

Roberts speaks through clenched teeth. "Don't *ever* call me a liar again."

Adeax says, "Very Well..that is all I require.."

Vechkov blinks. "That's it?"

VanMahr clears his throat. "How about we all put down our guns and have us some nice sugar water?"

Adeax nods slightly.. "That's it.."

The muscles in Roberts' arm begin to twitch with the strain of holding the gun.

Adeax turns to VanMahr.. "That would be nice.."

Vechkov says, "You come in here, you thrash my brain around, lie about economic trade, then ask one stupid question and that's it?"

Adeax nods slightly

Willis glances, noticing Roberts' sweat.

Cree frowns, but stays very still

VanMahr says, "He's not done, Vechkov. He's just done with the honesty route. We've all done this before ourselves. Drinks?"

VanMahr thumbs his safety on and tilts his head. His gaze never leaves Adeax.

Vechkov shakes his head. "I'm in no mood for further games. I'm of a mind to invest in a butterfly net and a bell jar."

Willis darts a confused look to VanMahr. He looks around the room, wishing he hadn't lost that damn little bag...

Roberts' eyes burn into Adeax. "It's time for you to go home"

Vechkov raises his voice. "What happened out there, Bug Man, is that something bigger than your bosses have ever seen came outta nowhere and sucked their ship up clean as anything and vamoosed."

Willis twitches at Vechkov.

Cree nods, "Read the news terminal, Adeax

Adeax nods slightly.. "I will as soon as I finish my sugar water..

Willis clenches his teeth, cornering his eyes over his left.

There comes the slither of metal against leather as VanMahr puts his blaster away. Only now does he look away from Adeax and back to Fire. "Sugar water. Make it a double?"

Cree fixes another large glass of the sugar water and places it in front of Adeax

Fire picks up glasses from the shelf and cleans them with a towel, takes one and fills it with water

Fire sees Cree and pours his glass empty

Willis coughs, softly.

VanMahr says, "That's for me."

Vechkov draws in a deep breath, shakes his head.

Cree scoots the glass to VanMahr

Fire dries his glass with the towel and returns it

Willis watches Adeax silently. He glances at the sugar water...

Vechkov sucks hard on his cigarette, the tip blazing red.

Vechkov settles into a booth and mutters to himself.

VanMahr takes a slow sip as though oblivious to the tension still present behind him. He eyes the monsterous lobster at his side. "Come here often?"

Roberts lowers his gun to his side, but stands still otherwise.

Cree runs a cloth over the bar

Fire cleans glasses and the shelf behind the bar

Adeax takes the sugar water...sipping at it..

VanMahr nods. "Me either."

VanMahr says, "Maybe if you want to see where this incident happened you could come up with a good price for Captain Roberts? And if any extra spectators happen by you'll find out if we're telling the truth or not?"

Adeax says, "Thank you for the water..it was most..satisfying.."

Adeax says, "That is not nessacery.."

Cree stays near a certain area of the bar

Cree nods to Adeax

Adeax stands to leave and heads to the door..

Roberts raises an eyebrow at the stranger at the bar.

Adeax heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Willis glances to Cree, he blinks.

Roberts turns to follow the bug.

Roberts heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Willis heads into Lower Promenade - Nephthys.

Fire turns as the bug leaves, "I guess he found what he was looking for"

Cree says, "I guess so..."

Cree says, "That sure cleared us out"

VanMahr peers over his shoulder as Adeax leaves. A trickle of sweat steals down his brow. "I hope they're not doing anything stupid." He closes his eyes. "Not my business. Miss Cree, if I start to get up, just remind me this isn't my business?" A pause. "Where are the escape pods on this station?"

Fire nods, "busy night"

Cree smiles at VanMahr...

Vechkov chuckles and drags on his cigarette.

Fire smiles, "We haven't been here long ourselves. No idea"

Fire glances at Cree, "You haven't seen them, have you?"

VanMahr grunts. "I didn't want to hear that. Can you turn this bug food into a beer for me?" He slides the sugar water back over the bar.

Fire smiles and takes Van's glass

Vechkov grunts, picks some lint out of his other pocket, then stands.

Fire pours the glass empty and sets it down. Gets a clean one and fills it from the draft and hands it to Van, "Here ya go, sir"

Vechkov tugs on his fedora, then heads for the door. "I hate bugs."

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