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The Needs of the Many

Posted on Thu Sep 22nd, 2016 @ 7:51am by Captain Avin Singh & Chief Petty Officer Ginifred Klem & Anne Chouvie

Mission: 863
Location: SS Tornado | Mess Hall
Timeline: After "Ship out of a Bottle"

An officer, Ginny was not. However, that had not prevented Captain Avininder Singh from placing her in a position of authority aboard the SS Star of India. Despite having left Starfleet and signing up with the Merchant Marines, declining going through the Academy, Avin allowed the woman to maintain her enlisted Starfleet rank even if it was not technically within the Merchant Marines rank structure. He had even given her the duties of Supply Officer or Logistics Officer albeit under the mantle of 'Supply Chief' which was what had her called away from one of the storage rooms and walking with a PaDD in hand, skimming through a list and a request.

Captain Signh had just left the Bridge moments ago, having let his First Officer oversee the departure from the shipyards. Ahead of them now? Open space for the next several hours until they reach the nearby station, a Federation outpost and supply depot. It was where the SS star of India would be taking on supplies in the sense of cargo they would be ferrying to Cestus III. Avin had been watching where he was going for once and avoided the near collision with Ginny. "WOAH" he said as he arched his hips in a near miss, curving around the determined Tellarite who charged on down the corridor.

Ginny had apologized, but her little hoofed feet and small legs were carrying her onward. "Care to join me, Captain?" she asked politely over her shoulder. "Had a formal request come in for some supplies for the ship. Request is from...Anne Chouvie?" she said shaking her head at the name. Poor unfortunate exotic dancer or an intelligence operative? pondered the Tellarite. "Smells fishy....no pun intended. Well, maybe just a little."

Oh? Anne needs something thought the Captain as he turned and headed down the corridor to join the Chief. "She's a real person, Chief. Now, I cannot confirm or deny that her real name is Anne Chouvie, but she came recommended and I did not feel I needed to question it. "All I know is she's masterful with a knife and her food is amazing" he added. The two soon found their way into the Mess Hall.

"Is there a Ms. Chouvie here?" said the Tellarite. Chief Klem snorted upon hearing her own voice say the name. "Anne Chouvie...anyone? No? Onion, Sour cream...anyone?" added the Chief. But the Captain pointed the woman out to Ginny as the Tellarite made her way over to the bar. "So, you are Anne Chouvie" she said trying not to snicker or snort.

Finishing up a pan of stir fry, Anne took a break and headed towards the kitchen bar to greet the two. "I'm Anne Chouvie. And who are you then? Tom Ato, or Caeser Salad? Or are you here for something to eat?"

"I'm Miss Por Kroast" replied Ginny with a shaking of her head. "Well, stuff me with an apple and call me done...smells wonderful in here. Wonderful if you like the smell of bland nearly burnt vegetables and boring ass iceberg lettuce" she said very Tellarite. Her 'insults' were more along the lines of compliments. "I'm Chief Klem, the Supply Chief. All requests for new equipment and supplies comes through me" she said setting the PaDD down on the bar.

Avin pulled up a seat and sat down at the bar. "I'm just observing. I wanted to see how my Supply Chief does" he said with a shrug. "But I'll take some Roobios tea" he said with a pleasant smile.

"High praise, coming from a swine like yourself." Anne knew how Tellerites worked well enough so she returned the complement as she poured a cup of the requested tea and set it in front of the captain. "I assume you're here about my request for three dozen sonic disruptors. Why would a cook need weapons, right? I need them for a souffle."

"Fascinating" said Avin.

"Disturbing" added Ginny who made a note of that on the PaDD. For souffle she put beside the request. "Yes, I was here about the request for three dozen disruptors. I have been in some seedy little bars in my day, but never one that needed three dozen sonic disruptors. Now, I am curious what you could do with other things...but really. How does one make a souffle with a sonic disruptor?"

Anne grinned wickedly and described the process. "You start by removing the power core and cracking it open. The elements in that particular model are quite tasty when combined with freshly baked protomatter, a white lithium sauce, and distilled essence of pulse grenade."

Ginny looked rather perplexed, a bit disturbed, and bordering on wanting to vomit. "Okay, forget I asked. Where the hell did they teach you to cook? The Culinary Institute of Cardassia?" she said shaking her head. Ginny quickly looked around to make sure the Chief Engineer wasn't off duty and in the room.

Avin patted her on the shoulder. "Ibrim's in Engineering. You are safe. The Obsidian Order isn't going to come get you on the Star of India" said the Captain.

"Will that answer do or do you need the real reason?" Anne asked as she pulled out a few vegetables and started dicing them.

The Tellarite looked at her. "The real reason would be preferable, Ms. Chouvie. I would like to have all the paperwork done before we arrive at the station" replied Ginny.

Anne nodded and waved her knife in the air a moment as if to brush it off. "Some old friends of mine on one of the planets we're visiting need the weapons for a resistance cell. They have an abundance of local produce so I've agreed to try to get them some less lethal weapons for enough to feed this crew for months. The lithium grease is for the chain drive in the rotisserie. The protomatter I mentioned was a joke. Like I said, it's for a souffle. Or the ingredients for three hundred souffles."

"Hell no" replied Ginny taking the PaDD and clinging it to her chest. "You want to put weapons in the hands of a resistance cell in trade for some produce?" she question the sanity of the woman. The Tellarite looked at the Captain. "Sir?" she said bewildered that she was even hearing any of this.

Avin had nearly spat his tea well across the bar and into the galley kitchen. "Anne" he said shaking his head. "We might not be Starfleet per se, but we are an auxiliary of it. Even that aside, we are a Federation starship under the authority of the Federation Secretary of Transportation, a member of the President's cabinet. We cannot simply arm citizens of a planet" he said firmly.

He lowered the tone of his voice as to be discrete. "What planet? What people? Is it a Federation world or a sovereign one?" he asked with concern. "We move supplies around to and from. We get clients and contracts, but we are not smugglers and certainly not arms dealers" added Avin.

Anne looked up momentarily, digesting their words. "It's a Federation colony on a sovereign world called Taralak 4. I'd ask for it from my contacts in Intelligence, but they need these weapons from a legitimate source for whatever reason."

Avin did not know the world off hand. "Federation colony, but a sovereign world. Arming anyone without going through proper channel would put us in very hot waters, Anne. Let alone the fact that we have no idea what these people would do. You are asking us to arm a 'resistance cell' which in most cases practically straddles the line of being a terrorist group. Who's to say we wouldn't be supplying arms to an uprising or a political coup?"

"Then I probably shouldn't mention that my friend is a former Starfleet Black Ops coordinator or that some of his people are former Maquis sympathizers." Setting her knife aside, Anne headed to a secluded part of the kitchen that seemed to have just a blank panel. She pressed a couple spots and the panel popped open to reveal actual paper copies of something. Rifling through the papers, she pulled one out and resealed the panel. "This is his profile." Anne said as she slid it in front of the captain and returned to chopping veggies.

Groaing Avin sighed, only to see Ginny set the PaDD down near him and back away. "Where are you going?" he asked ashe looked over his shoulder.

She shrugged "She's making souffles with them. That's what I heard in my old age. Gave it my approval and passed it along up the COC to Commander Temple and or yourself to look over" said Ginny. "Whatever happens, I don't want to know and I do not want to hear about it" added Ginny as she scurried off.

This left Avin and Anne to converse. He looked at the woman. "I'll be upfront with you. I would have loved to have joined the Maquis myself. However, I am a starship Commanding Officer of a Federation Merchant Marine vessel. I cannot put arms into these people's hands, Anne" he said shaking his head. "Now, I might be able to request these for...defensive purposes as a security request. If they come aboard the Star of India I'm responsible for them. However, if they go missing and are not aboard my starship...that's on someone else's shoulders."

"That's up to you, of course." Anne began, setting her knife aside again. "I could do a lot with the boma meat and tubers, but if you decide not to, I'll forward the request to Intel and let them deal with it." Coming around the bar to sit next to the captain, she nodded and poured herself some tea as well. "So... I'm sure you now have plenty more questions."

"Get in touch with whomever you need to. We are scheduled to arrive at the station in about five hours" he said simply. "If you know anyone near, I'd suggest you have them arrive at the station and intercept some particular supplies and make them vanish before we or the station's personnel realize things are missing" said Avin. "The less I know, the better."

Anne raised an eyebrow, slightly surprised. "No questions at all then? Too bad I'm out of the game and only doing this as a favor to an old friend. All I can do is forward the request to Intel and hope they don't try to drag me back into their schemes. Thanks Captain. And sorry about all this."

"NONE" he said sternly. "If I know things, it will make me feel morally obligated to report things. I rather you stay aboard my ship." He grabbed another a PaDD that had been sitting nearby and plugged in some information into it before passing it over to Anne. "You did not get this from me" he said with a sigh. "He's a Ferengi with a small ship, one that is running around with a questionable reputation and a illegally modified Romulan cloaking device. Pay him enough and he'll get his hands on the disruptors before they can get loaded onto the Star of India. He'll take the cargo to Taralak IV for you if you pay him handsomely."

"Ugh... Ferengi..." Anne grumbled as she looked over the info. Yeah she'd heard of him. He'd been one of her old crew's competitors. "Thanks. I'll see what I can arrange. I might have enough in my retirement..."

"There's a small bar and casino on the station. If you need extra to pay the man, you probably could win some" said Avin. "Good luck, Anne" added Avin with a nod.

"Thanks." Maybe there was another way... She'd have to pull some strings though. "How long will we be at the station?"

Avin shrugged "However long it takes to load the cargo, inspect it, and then get cleared to disembark. At best, I'd say an hour and a half, but probably closer to two." He looked at the woman and smiled slightly. "If you need a leave of absence, Anne...you are welcome to take shore leave and take a trip to Taralak IV. We'll be on our way back to the station after we drop off the cargo at Cestus III, could pick you up when we get back?" offered Avin.

"No, I think I can arrange things from here." Standing, Anne walked back into the kitchen to access her computer terminal from there. "If you'll excuse me, Captain, I have some calls to make."

He nodded. "And if you'll excuse me, Anne, I have some calls I want to make sure I do not hear" he said with a nod before leaving the bar.

As soon as he'd left, Anne punched up the comm line and after a few seconds a strange scruffy looking man covered in scars popped up on the screen. "Mister Chuck Waggon, I presume. This is Miss Ali Katt. I can get your souffle, but I was hoping you had a pan for it..."

 

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