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Smokin'

All alone in the night

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Daw sits down heavily, stretching his legs out in front of him. The heat of his anger has faded, leaving him feeling tired and strained.

 

"Well, I took a few days off work, so I could get sorted here. I haven't taken any time off since I came on station, so I guess I deserve it. I also talked to my foreman. It seems that the interest in the g-suit theft is being kept strictly routine. No-one who's not involved knows that there's anything more serious going on.

 

Daw pulls his legs back underneath him and sits up in the chair. "I did get a visit from my ol' buddy Frank. It seems he is involved. In fact, from the look of it, he's so deep into the drek that his mouth is full. The thing is, this wasn't some crime of opportunity. Frank's afraid, but not of security. He's afraid of the people he's working for, and what they'll do if they think that security will track them through him.

 

"Now, to me, this seems awfully cloak and dagger for a couple of expensive g-suits. So, the real story is somewhere else, somewhere not in the docks."

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Before Darius goes into any more detail he indicates for Jack to keep talking, he then scans the room for any bugs, just incase his visitors had left some behind after their visit.

 

Once he has finished the scan (and assuming he hasn't found anything) he sits back down. "Hmm this info on the g-suits is interesting, last night I got a call out of the blue asking me to make a special delivery. However there was no handover of goods, I was instructed to wait at a set of cordinates. Maybe they used the g-suits to go EVA and attached something to the outside of my shuttle."

 

"Anyway I wanted to fill you in on the conversation fom this morning with Miss Fletcher. It seems she is here to buy dust, she explained it was for a legitimate use but I ain't so sure."

 

"We need to be real careful here, Dust smugglers aren't know for their forgiving ways but at 50,000 credits per delivery the money sure is good."

 

"Anyway the ball is in their court now, we just wait and see if they want to use us for getting the dust of station."

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"Can't say I'll ever need personal security but thanks" says Elliot, pocketing Jack's card. "So what's so special about you that you need a bodyguard, Miss Fletcher? You work for the government, IPX - someone big?"

 

The dealer flops a 3 in front of Missy and a 7 in front of Elliot in response to his request. The third man gets the 5 of diamonds.

 

"I run a little import-export business, myself. Nothing big but we're doing well - mostly League stuff, Drazi and Vree contracts."

 

There are no messages of any import for Darius, and no bugs show up on his scan of the room. The next shipment he has an 'interest' in is due in tomorrow. The weekly invoice for docking fees is due but his latest jobs have made it a very profitable week and the bill can be paid easily.

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"What a small universe." Responds Missy as she indicates to the dealer to give her another card. "I'm in the import/export business as well. I deal with the Earth Alliance myself, but occiaisonally I get some more unusual clients."

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Once Darius has finished talking with Jack he turns his attention to gathering info on Mr Handy.

 

Looking up for a second "So Jack anything you need to do ? If not how are your flying skills, you may want to look into getting some knowledge on how to pilot a shuttle."

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Daw leans back, hands behind his head. "Naah, I didn't realize Frank would make my job so easy by coming and telling me what I wanted to know. Never piloted a shuttle - can waltz in a power-lifter, but have never flown."

 

Daw gets serious for a second. "Plus, it may stop me from bumping into Frank again. His threats don't scare me, but the thought that he might tell me something I'm not supposed to know..."

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Very quickly Darius can pull up common knowledge on Jack Handy but it's not much and he realises that finding anything useful or relevant will take a little longer. He makes a couple of Babcom calls to people he hopes can help him, including Reagan Pallo and others who have ways of obtaining information.

 

He also drops a quick message to Garibaldi on a different matter. Whilst he is still looking up contacts, the reply comes back "Agreed, but on your head. Make him aware of consequences".

 

If the dealer is affected by Missy's confidence he doesn't show it. Unfortunately for her, the flop of the Queen of Spades proves her confidence misplaced as she busts spectacularly. Elliott is happy with his hand and holds. He seems to be treating the game as no more than a backdrop now he has someone interesting to talk with. Looking at him more closely, she can see that although he is indeed unremarkable his face is attractive enough when it is creased with the gentle smile which he flashes her. Here and there are the unostentatious signs of wealth.

 

"I find dealing with EA such a nightmare of bureaucracy I prefer to leave it to others. Much rather bring my stuff somewhere like here and find a buyer - let them deal with the red tape" The smile is again flashed but it's genuine. "I mean, the Brakiri have their rules and they're jealous of competition on their own turf but if you're supplying something they want then they'll work with you. As for the Drazi, well sometimes they're a little bit more cut-throat - literally, I've heard, at times but they respect strength so as long as you don't back down you can make good deals." During this, the 2nd man has lost again but Elliott's luck continues and his chips increase. "Are you on board buying or selling, Miss Fletcher? It might be fortuitous for us both we met?"

 

Jack scans the casino professionally. It's still quiet but a couple more clients have entered, as do a pair of station security guards. With trained instincts, Jack looks to see if anyone suddenly appears agitated. As he scans the room, he notices the so far silent blackjack player give the new arrivals just too long a look to be natural.

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Darius spends some more time dealing with matters and checking in with contacts. Then he stops and glances towards Jack. "I tell you what Jack lets head down to the shuttle bay and I will show you around the Floating Vagabond." With that he heads out and down towards the docks. As they wander down to the docks Darius talks to Jack about the shuttle. Once they are onboard the ship Darius shows Jack around the shuttle. Instructing him in various matters. Then he brings Jack up into the cockpit. "Ok Jack the info I told you in the office isn't quite true.Miss Fletcher appears to be some form of player, and Garibaldi knows about her. We are working on a sting operation, we need to make sure that this info doesn't get out for obvious reasons. The dust we take off station will not get in public consumption."

 

Darius then continues to fill in the details about Fletcher.

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Jack stays put, but his attention has changed. He's continuing to scan the room with his eyes so as not to give anything away by where he's looking, but he's now checking the new arrivals and the silent blackjack player out of the corner of his eye, trying to judge if either one is about to start trouble.

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"So, basically my first gig is going to be smuggling Dust? heck of a way to ease a new employee into the life, Boss. At least I won't have to worry about the illegality of it, if it is a sting. Oh, and rest assured Boss, I can well imagine that leaking anything about this could well sign our death warrent."

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"I'm currently buying to send home." Responds Missy as she acknowledges the loss of chips. "I've found that just the right amount of pressure can laxen the beuracracy somewhat. Since most of what I import is considered fairly vital to those recieving it, they tend to apply pressure from their side of the red tape and I from my own. I'll agree it can be an excrutiating bore though."

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"Yeah sorry about that Jack, but in at the deep end it seems to be. So any thoughts on how we proceed ? I plan to inform Miss Fletcher that I am willing to take the Dust of station for her."

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"And what is it you deal in, Miss Fletcher? If I can supply you, we could both be looking at a very handsome deal - or does the fact you need security indicate troublesome competitors?" Elliott asks with raised eyebrow.

 

The two station security officers have been greeted by the casino manager and are casually chatting to her.

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Darius links into the comm system and sends a brief message to Miss Fletcher. "I will be able to courier your supplies for the fee discussed. Darius"

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Missy turns to Elliott. "I deal mainly in pharmaceuticals, although that's by far from all I deal in." Responds Missy, sticking to her cover. When she see's the doubtful look on Elliott's face she smiles. "I assure you, I'm no drug smuggler. My reputation is too important to me for that, and it clearly states that everything I import is above board." Missy then looks at Jack. "However, a reputation doesn't protect me physically, just economically." Missy smiles her most disarming smile.

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