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A Mutual Understanding

Posted on Sun Oct 30th, 2016 @ 12:00am by Dahleya & Lieutenant Commander Thomas Byrne

Mission: Shadows and Whispers
Location: Security Center

Dahleya could almost smell her new replicator as she led her most recent capture through the Starbase 332 security center. Then again, that could have just been the smell of the sterile environment. Starfleet installations weren’t like the privately run places. They rarely felt 'lived-in', always being squeaky clean. Then again, the shiny surfaces were at least nicer to look at then some of the rust buckets she has had to visit. And the thought of being able to eat real food, well, real replicated food, instead of the boring and bland rations she had been eating was making her mouth water.

Her latest quarry, however, was not making it easy. Despite the shackles around his wrists, the phaser at Dahleya's side, and the dozen or so armed security officers going about their business, he still staggered and resisted. He was rewarded with a couple of swift kicks from Dahleya's boots on their way to security, but she was more careful now that she was in the lion’s den. There was no need for her to cause a scene when that new replicator was within her grasp. Her prisoner seemed to realize that since he made no effort to hold back on the insults thrown her way, something that would have earned him a punch to the back of the head moments before. Had it not been so frowned upon, she would have stunned him and dragged his unconscious body up here. But Dahleya had heard that there was a new sheriff in town, and that wasn't the best way to make first impressions. Law enforcement tended to see her as a necessary evil at best, though in her opinion bounty hunters were an integral part. At least it paid well if she was able to track down someone high on their list. The fellow feeling her death grip wasn’t that high on the list, but he would at least be enough to pay the bills.

The desk officer suddenly looked up from his paperwork, shocked by the sound of a body being shoved against the high desk. The body in question had seen better days. His clothing was ripped and soiled, and what skin he could see was covered in bruises. Next to him, clinging to his arm, was a tall Denobulan woman, offering a big friendly smile in a way that only Denobulans could. "May I help you?" the officer asked.

"I certainly hope so, Officer. My name is Dahleya, and I’m a registered bounty hunter." She reached her free right hand down out of view, and returned it with her documentation. "My friend here is Arran Remlock. That's R-E-M-L-O-C-K. He's wanted for seven counts of armed robbery, and two counts, or was it three…" She trailed off and looked at Remlock, who avoided her eye contact. She studied him for a second, as if she was trying to remember. "Oh right, I forgot about Plaius III. Make that four counts of aggravated assault. I’m here to collect the bounty on him."

The desk officer reviewed her credentials before handing them back to her. He absently looked at his terminal screen and pulled up the station's records. He didn’t really have the patience for a bounty hunter, and it was starting to show. "I don’t know of any bounties on a Arran Remlock. I don't have any records of him on the station. I'm sorry, I can’t help you."

"He was never on the station, but you should still have records for the warrants against him. And you are the closest Federation outpost, so this is where I am supposed to bring him." She hadn’t intended it to happen, but the volume of her voice was starting to rise as she grew more impatient. She could sense her new replicator slipping away, and the amused look on Remlock's face didn't make her any less annoyed. "I suggest that you check the Federation database. The warrant and bounty have clearly been issued."

"Is there a problem here?" Byrne had heard - as everyone else in the bullpen had - the commotion being caused at the front desk, and had decided to walk over to see what the issue was for himself. He walked around the back of the desk officer so that he could peer at the details on the screen. The desk officer was right; the station had no record of this Remlock character, but he noticed that the bounty hunter was also correct in that the search hadn't included the Federation-wide database. He chose not to mention that fact; he didn't want to undermine one of his own officers in front of an outsider.

"A minor one, Commander, but I'm sure it's one that can be easily remedied." The denobulan flashed Byrne a big smile and handed him her credentials. "I'm Dahleya, a bounty hunter that is fully licensed and registered with the Federation. There is a warrant out for this individual, and Starbase Three-Three-Two is the nearest Federation outpost. There are other factions interested in this individual, but I'd prefer to deliver him to the proper authorities."

"I'm glad you feel that way," Byrne said, taking the credentials and making sure to study them. He didn't doubt they were genuine, and he didn't have any particular dislike of bounty hunters, but he had a feeling that this particular bounty hunter was going to need taking down a notch or two. At the very least, he had to make sure she didn't try to steam roll over his staff. "Bains, Burkett," he called to two of his officers who looked to be chatting over some paperwork. "Process Mister Remlock into a brig cell while we check for warrants. Miss Dahleya, why don't we chat in my office for a few minutes?" he said. It wasn't really a question though, as he started walking across the bullpen, still holding onto her credentials. She'd have to follow if she wanted them returned.

This was not her first ball, and Dahleya had done this song and dance before. She let the security officers take away her prisoner. If she played her cards wrong, she could miss out on that bounty. But if she plays them right, she might have a new friendly port. She didn't linger long before following Byrne to his office. It wasn't going to do any good to make him wait.

"I'll get straight to the point, Ms Dahleya," Byrne began, turning the glass around his office opaque as she entered and the door shut behind her, giving them some privacy from the curious eyes of the officers in the bullpen around them. "I understand that Starfleet cannot be everywhere at all times, and so people in your profession are necessary to help us bring in the fugitives that escape our grasp. However, if you are to operate on and around my station, I have some ground rules that I expect all bounty hunters to follow."

"Fair enough, Commander," Dahleya replied. For the most part she stuck to Federation law, at least while operating within the Federation. Her status allowed her a little more jurisdiction out of Federation space, at least compared to Federation police forces. But when operating on Federation worlds and outposts, she understood that playing by their rules was often required. "Let's hear 'em."

"First, you will abide by all Federation Laws and regulations. If you break any laws, you will be thrown into a brig cell just as quickly as anyone else; your bounty hunter's license will not protect you from that. Second; you will not discharge your firearm unless it is absolutely necessary to defend yourself or others. If you fail to adhere to this, I will confiscate your weapon for the duration of your time on this station. And third; you will show my officers the respect that they and their position deserves. The fact that they are required to wear a uniform does not make them beneath you, and does not entitle you to berate them in front of everyone in the bullpen. Do we have an understanding?"

Dahleya nodded along. She did like to shoot first and ask questions later, on stun of course, so that rule would be a minor setback. But it wasn't a deal breaker. Treating the local cops with respect depended on how they treated her. "That won't be a problem, Commander. I'm an honorable woman, and I always treat others as I am treated. I will treat your officers with respect, but I expect the same in return. Just because they wear that uniform doesn't make me beneath them. But you have nothing to worry about. I don't start trouble. I've found that commotion often makes criminals frightened, and frightened criminals are dangerous. I'm sure you'd agree with that assessment."

"Agreed," the commander nodded. He mentally made note of the comment about officers treating her with respect; he had that expectation of them anyway, so much so that he hadn't considered the possibility that they might view her with anything else. But he was still new to the station, and his security team was large, and not yet accustomed to his expectations. It might be a point he would need to keep an eye out for. "So long as we understand each other, I don't think we'll have any problems getting along. In fact, I might even come to you if I need something looking into when I can't send one of my own officers, if you're open to that."

Now that was an interesting proposition, Dahleya thought to herself. "I'm sure we could come up with some sort of arrangement, Commander. Of course my services do come with a price. A girl has a to make a living somehow. Credits, latinum, favors; they're all the same to me."

Lt. Commander Thomas Byrne
Chief of Security

Independent Bounty Hunter


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