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Ford Meets Ford in a Corridor

Posted on Tue Jan 14th, 2020 @ 5:14pm by Fordyce Kirschler PhD & Executive Officer Jake Ford

Mission: Mission 10 - Temperance
Location: SS Mary Rose, Corridor 33-J
Timeline: Preceding "Broken Crown"
1199 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure



Ford had a lot of things on his mind as he moved down the corridor of the SS Mary Rose. Well, really just one thing - waking up dead. Less than twelve hours aboard the ship and it was really all he could think about.

He'd either outright killed or been an accomplice to the murder of six associates of a ruthless Lithian gangster. He'd disabled the sensors of a blockading Starfleet ship and used the opportunity to smuggle a rival gang member's contraband to a pirate outpost. He still wasn't sure what had happened there but two ships were destroyed and three others damaged. And above all, he'd stolen from the Primarch of Lithios Prime, the sort of man that liked to leave flayed bodies dangling from local infrastructure as a reminder of the value placed on quiet obedience.

In short, a lot of people wanted him dead. Any minute he felt he could set off a Flaxian pheromone explosive, eat a Cardassian felosian chip, get a kut'luch jammed in his liver, or just get strangled to death by a big ass Gorn. He was isolated and out of touch with the one person who could reasonably protect him. He was in an unusual situation he didn't fully understand with a bunch of strangers. His ship wasn't space-worthy. And put together it was all making him just the slightest bit touchy.

So when the lights in the corridor suddenly dimmed to a tenth of their normal luminosity and a shadowy figure appeared from around a corner, his hand immediately went to the Dai-Matsa Consolidated's Polarized Phase Blaster MK IX strapped to his hip.

Jake sighed as the lights flickered again. The third - no, fourth - time that day alone. He really needed to speak to Burnie about the basic running of the ship. After all the shenanigans that had happened, he was starting to get a bit nervous he wouldn't escape unscathed from all of them.

He saw the motion out of the corner of his eye. A familiar movement of someone reaching for a weapon. He turned sharply, hand already going for his own, but stopping short. "Hold it," he called, raising his other hand in a 'stop' motion. "Easy now. No need for hostilities. Just...drop the weapon, please."

The voice didn't sound hostile or even deceptive. But Ford knew that didn't mean shit out on the frontier. He'd been bamboozled by a damn Vulcan before, so he wasn't about to disarm himself at the simple urging of a calm voice in the dark. For the moment, he kept his hand right where it was on the holstered gun.

"Says who?"

Jake frowned. "What do you mean 'says who'?" He blinked at the stranger. "I said so. Who are you, anyway? What are you doing here?"

I'm the one holding the gun, thought Ford. But he figured it was best to keep the antagonism to a minimum. He was new here, likely suspicious to them already, and figured shooting people in the corridor wouldn't do much for his reputation.

"I'm Ford, a passenger. Who are you, and what are you doing here?"

"Ford? What do you mean you're Ford?" Jake frowned. "I'm Ford." Unless this was some more of that parallel universe insanity the rest of the crew kept talking about. An alternate 'Ford'? From some other universe? No, that was crazy. This guy didn't even sound like him.

Ford narrowed his eyes to try to get a better look at the other person, but he couldn't really make anything out. The voice was just a silhouette that liked to play games, which deepened his suspicions.

"That's a nice bit of fiction," said Ford. "What's the point, buddy? What're you gettin' at? We both know you're not Ford. So..." The strap keeping his pistol holstered snapped loose. "Who are you?"

This was going nowhere, Jake realised. "Well, Ford, passenger I'm Ford, Chief Armoury Officer. Which outranks passenger by some distance. So how about we get the truth?"

Passenger Ford paused and mulled it over. Could be a trap, for sure. Get him to take his hand away from the weapon long enough to eliminate the possibility for return fire. Could be some way of confirming his identity before offing him. Or it could be the truth - maybe he was just a Ford among Fords.

"I'm Dr. Ford Kirschler, a passenger," replied Ford. He took his hands off the holster but didn't exactly raise them in surrender. "Nice to meetcha, Chief Armoury Officer Ford."

"Ford...is your first name." Jake relaxed a little, easing his hand away from his hip. "Hope you gave your folks hell for that."

"I gave my folks all kinds of hell for all kinds of reasons, name included. 'Course Fordyce is the proper name, if you're the proper sort. And I ain't, really. So Ford'll do." Ford grinned and winked, though it was hard to see in the dark. His silhouette relaxed visibly, too, as he determined the Other Ford didn't seem like an imminent threat. "Ford's your... Surname? More common that way, I reckon."

"That's right," Jake took a few steps forward. "So you're our new arrival. Heard about that." He paused, then motioned to the hip-slung weapon. "Carrying's forbidden on Rosie except for registered armoury officers. You probably didn't know before, but you do now."

Ford looked down at the weapon on his hip. The mention of registration made him recall previous experiences on other civilian ships; it was a familiar shakedown. "Gotcha. So how much is it to 'register'? Don't tell me there's gonna be a Ford surcharge, too..."

"You misunderstood," Jake noted. "Forbidden means forbidden, unless the boss man says so. Now I don't mind if you want to keep it locked up in your quarters, but I'd stash that piece away before he gets wind you've got it." He folded his arms. "Trust me, the Captain likes the rules."

The Captain likes the rules. He wasn't entirely sure how to feel about that. On the one hand, it meant the kind of restrictive environment that for Ford was like a tight, itchy collar around his neck. On the other, it made the captain predictable. Predictability meant well-defined boundaries, which were easy to operate in. And around.

"Oh, a law-abiding man, eh? In that case, I'll lock 'er up post haste," said Ford. The lights in the corridor came on just in time to show his grin. He made a show of looking around in mock amazement. "Well, lookee there..." In the time it took him to cross the distance to the Other Ford, he'd sized him up and determined he was no one he wanted to tangle with. He stuck his hand out for a shake. "Buy you a drink, Armoury Ford?"

Jake's mouth curled up into a grin as he grasped the other Ford's hand. "First one's on me, Passenger Ford. Standard welcome for newbies on board."

OFF:

Jake Ford
Chief Armoury Officer
SS Mary Rose

Dr. Fordyce "Ford" Kirschler
Passenger & Consultant
Bank of Bolias

 

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