And now, it’s story time!
Once upon a time, not very long ago at all, 4 ferengi went on shore leave and this is what happened….
Day 1 – Interrogations Begin – The Marathon docks at Starbase 134, the crew disembarks and undergoes intensive ‘interviews’ to root out Klingon spies and saboteurs….
After his interview with Starfleet Intelligence and waiting to be released from restriction to quarters, Ensign Adred (Leader Security Team 4) looked over a deal his family clued him in on, but he lacked the wealth to do it alone without family support (in other words, almost no profit for him), and even his family’s available funding likely wasn’t enough. He sought out his fellow ferengi crew members, LtJG Oopog (Helm 2), Ensign Guths (EPS Shift Leader 4), and CPO Dor (Comms 3, Female). Between them they had enough accumulated credits and GPL that, with clever leveraging through 3 false front corporate fronts and a few loans here and there from orion based sources, they could pool the necessary funds. Though Adred brought the least capital, he did bring the deal, which was enough for all to agree to split the venture equally (Starfleet’s influence must be rubbing off).
Day 2 – Interrogations Continue
While crew interview continued Adred chatted with the ferengi cartel via video. The business partnership was formalized between the Ferengi after much arguing and hissing, with much contention regarding the female Dor, but finally all agreed to allow her full rights and shares. Adred’s deal was a mining operation going bankrupt and selling off their equipment and the mineral rights of a dilithium rich asteroid in one of the Rigel belts to the highest bidder. Adred’s family had done some investigation into it and knew that with their mining techniques they would be able to extract more from the asteroid than others could, though the quality of the dilithium might be low. Since the asteroid appeared to be mined out there were few interested parties and none of them were offering close to what this asteroid should be worth when ‘properly’ mined.
Day 3 – Shore Leave, Day 1.
On shore leave, the ferengi vacationed in the way all ferengi do – with a business deal. Early that day the ferengi set off to examine the mine. It was a difficult mining operation to make profitable the way the orion miners were going at it, but it is a common situation among dilithium deposits the Ferengi mine, so they knew they could make it work. The profits would go to their families, and each of them had a relative with mining experience who can come in and oversee the operation. This let them all wash their hands of the operation and still fill their coffers, plus a bit for their families, for a basic brokering effort. By putting the funds into shell corporations and having family members manage the operation they were within the letter of Starfleet regulations and saw no issue with their actions. With little time to operate, they met with the orions and signed the deal by the end of that day and headed back to the asteroid to complete detailed scans, inventory, check the assets against their manifest, and prepare to begin operations, staying overnight in the small work facility built on the asteroid. They were awakened at roughly midnight by what felt like an earthquake. What they didn’t realize was that the orions felt cheated by the ferengi’s negotiating tactics and sold the information about the asteroid to some nausicans.
Day 4 – Shore leave, day 2.
All was well when they went to inspect the business initially, prior to purchase. However, nausican miners showed up and began poaching their asteroid, causing the shaking they felt. Afraid to contact Starfleet and shining light on their investment for people in the chain of command to see, they decided to confront the Nausicans with an attempted bluff. The Nausicans figured out where the ferengi were broadcasting from, docked with the work facility, told them not to come back, beat them senseless, and launched them into space in an escape pod. Their SOS is picked up and they are rescued by a transport ship who drops them on Rigel after giving them medical attention for broken ribs and torn ears.
Upon release from medical, Oopog, in a rage, insisted that they must defend their property, quoting Rule of Acquisition #25: “Fear makes a good business partner”. Agreeing with him, Adred suggested they hire Sophos Security Corporation, a private mercenary company his family was familiar with to help them enforce their claims. The Sophos Security Corporation is based on Mars in the Sol system but has a division on Rigel since they have many customers in this area. They sell their services as an elite ex-military & ex-mercenary force for hire and are a favorite among non-Federation races with assets to protect within Federation space. Sophos launched an immediate covert surveillance operation of the asteroid that evening, upon verifying receipt of payment, to discover the pirates seemed to be gone.
Day 5 – Shore leave, day 3.
The security teams set up on a nearby unclaimed and otherwise worthless asteroid, as the pirates still seemed to be gone. They quickly set up their defensive perimeter and quick launch hangers on their commandeered asteroid. Later that day the unsuspecting nausicans returned for another load. The mercs launched and confronted the nausicans in space, turning them back, none too gently as the nausicans went on the offensive. Lightly armed, outnumbered, and outmatched by 20 merc fighters, the 12 mining vessels broke off after losing 2 ships and retreated from the system. The ferengi were ecstatic, ordered replacement mining equipment from Ferenginar and sent gloating messages to their families to send people to begin operations in their mine immediately.
Day 6 – Shore leave, day 4.
Responding to the nausican pirate mining fleet’s request for help, 15 unmarked fighters and 10 frigates, matching nausican navy frigate configurations, rolled in on Rigel destined for the asteroid. Panicked mining operators throughout the area called Starfleet for help. Patrols from Starbase 134 were dispatched to assist the fighter pickets already in the area. They caught up with them at the asteroid where the nausicans were mopping up the last of the merc forces having lost 2 of their own frigates and 6 fighters. Seeing the battle in progress and the bombardment of the facility having already taken place the Starfleet commander, a brash young Lt Eric Johansson, ordered immediate action and all fighters in his wing to open fire. The onslaught took the nausicans by surprise, and they are overwhelmed despite enjoying greater numbers than Starfleet. Within 2 minutes 4 Starfleet destroyers joined the fight and the nausicans chose to retreat from the system. The nausicans communicated as they retreated, “This is a day that will be remembered and avenged! You have killed the son of Warlord Kr’Kall’a!”
Day 7 – Last day of shore leave.
While investigating the matter, the actions of 4 Starfleet ferengi came to the attention of the Federation Marshall Service. Specifically, how their actions, while correct and within the letter of the law and regulations, created this incident. The son of the second most powerful Warlord on Nausicaa was killed in combat with Starfleet and his clansmen have vowed revenge – something they are famous for fulfilling. The order to take the ferengi into protective custody was sent though channels to the security forces of Starbase 134, and a team was dispatched. Upon beam in they found Oopog lying on the floor of a wrecked café in the main city on Rigel III, Chellar, talking to the local constabulary and being treated for minor cuts and abrasions, but no sign of Adred, Guth, or Dor. His statement reads, “We were just minding our own business when 4 large, armed people beamed in and assaulted us (the pair of ferengi). They managed to subdue Adred and Dor and beamed out with them when you [the security team] arrived.” Adred’s comm badge is among the debris, Guth’s isn’t but it isn’t functioning either apparently. Dor is found nearby hiding in a garbage shoot. Oopog and Dor are to be interviewed and returned to his captain to determine their disposition. Since the ship they serve on is on a high priority mission, no charges are being preferred at Starbase 134, leaving such matters to their captain’s discretion. However, the ship the abductors beamed up to has broken orbit and left the system at high warp on a course for Nausicaa, presumably with Adred aboard. End of report.
Later that day, an attempt to transport Oopog and Dor fails due to quick intervention on the part of Starfleet Intelligence, who has him under surveillance. The ferengi are suspected of being operatives of the Klingons, though there isn’t any proof at all and they passed their “interviews” with flying colors.