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This Gentleman Will Pay For Everything

Posted on Tue Jan 14th, 2020 @ 5:07pm by Fordyce Kirschler PhD & Captain Rueben Gregnol

Mission: Mission 10 - Temperance
Location: SS Mary Rose, Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: Following "Welcome Party"

Ford eased down into the chair opposite the captain's desk, and P.E.A.R.L. silently took up a position behind him. He hadn't been so much invited as just let himself in, but he figured it was proper to report after the engineering staff had taken a peek at his battered and damaged ship. The chair beneath him groaned in protest as he angled to cross his legs, which was either commentary about his weight or a statement about the age of the ship.

He decided it was the latter.

"Well, ol'... Burnside? Burnstein? Whatever. Says my ship ain't fit for space. Coulda told him that myself," said Ford off-handedly, "but his professional opinion is that it's gonna take a hell of a lot of materials and work hours to get the Couronne spaceworthy again." He waved a hand, as if Gregnol had said a word. "I'll have to take her to a shipyard for most of the major repairs, but we ought to be able to get her well enough off to limp there at warp four or five. Inside of a year or two, I reckon."

Gregnol hid the yawn but it was easy to see he was tired as he stared at the man listening to what he had to say. The Alexander had a better chance of being spaceworthy again before the heap that the man had rolled in was. He had expected the man over an hour ago but the Security detail he had sent had been told to wait and the inexperienced fool had instead of just hauling the man off. "So that pretty much leaves you without a choice but to hitch a ride on this old heap." The Captain said without a hint of letting the man know about the fact they might be moving to the Temperance.

Ford nodded somberly. "Yup, me an' P.E.A.R.L. come to the same conclusion. It's no Risian spaceliner, but it seems like it still gets from point A to point B. And listen, I ain't no slouch. Fixin' the Couronne ain't gonna be cheap. So the real question is - y'all hirin'? I got my résumé right here..."

He gestured and P.E.A.R.L. stepped forward with a non-Federation designed PADD. It was sleeker, sexier, and looked like someone had paid latinum for it. Definitely not the sort of mass-replicated things churned out by Starfleet. "I have compiled, organized, and substantially altered Dr. Kirschler's credentials and accolades to make him an attractive candidate for your organization. I hope you will find the results enticing."

Ford closed his eyes and almost grimaced when P.E.A.R.L. said 'substantially altered.' Why hadn't he deactivated her vocal subroutines in advance of the meeting?

Gregnol took the PADD and found himself smiling. "Altered Dr. Kirschler's credentials and accolades to make him an attractive candidate for your organization? I like her she does not have the ability to lie it seems." The Captain rubbed his face finding himself wondering for the 100th time if he should just shave it all off. "I do not need lies. I have had enough of those type of things. What is your area of expertise?"

"Areas," corrected Ford. He leaned forward to retrieve the PADD from Gregnol's desk and looked through P.E.A.R.L.'s revisions. "She's not too far off on most of it... I specialize in artificial intelligence, programming, computer systems, and logistics. I was a Starfleet officer - honorably discharged, mind you - before setting off into the private industry. Trained in operations mostly, with some dabbling in engineering here and there. I have references with Akwasi Industries, the Shelliak Corporate Legal Counsel for A.I. Ethics, and Apex Paragon Maximantics among many others. Uh, I've been doing contract work with the Bank of Bolias lately. Some programming. Import-export, mostly, though. You know, logistics work."

"Areas of expertise," Gregnol said with a small smirk as he sat down and leisurely started to flick through the PADD and what had been handed to him. A lot of what he was saying was going straight over Gregnol's head around but some of it sparked the thought that this man at the very least had connections. Connections were always handy in his new non-commbadge wearing world. "You are in luck we have just lost our Operations Chief." He admitted with only a touch of annoyance in his voice. He still wasn't impressed with the situation he had been left with but was relieved that Mahone had appeared at the very least to take the strain even if he did not trust her one bit.

"Lost?" asked Ford, lifting an eyebrow. "You don't know where he is? You fired him? He left?" Belatedly, he added, "Or he's dead?"

Gregnol chuckled and for a moment considered his words carefully. He dragged the silence out for far longer than was needed but eventually said. "He left at the last minute back on Daucina."

"Daucina? Never heard of it," said Ford as he shook his head.

"Beautiful place. Lots of water."

Ford pointed to the nearest viewport in the captain's ready room as if to draw attention to the system they were currently in. "Y'all have a habit of ending up in the middle of nowhere all the time?"

Reuben countered. "No. Do you?" He wondered back thinking that they had both found the other in the middle of nowhere. "And what is your friend?" He could not help but think of the ship in cold storage that had an AI system.

Ford took the point about ending up in the middle of nowhere and let the matter drop. At the mention of P.E.A.R.L., he shifted a little in his seat and waved her forward. "Introducing my non-sentient A.I. robotic assistant - the Personal Engineered Autonomous Robotic Laborer from Omegasys Interstellar Industrial Unlimited, otherwise known as P.E.A.R.L."

On cue, she stepped forward, gave an informal bow, and began speaking in Russian. "Zdrastvujte, Kapitan Gregnol. Prijatno poznakomit'sja. Etot mužčina platit za vsë. (Greetings, Captain Gregnol. It's nice to meet you. This gentleman will pay for everything.)"

The Russian raised an eyebrow at being spoken to in his native tongue perfectly. "Nice accent." He said in Federation Standard but the smirk on his face said he got the message P.E.A.R.L. was getting across. "So do you want a job or not?" He wondered simply, he had other things to get on with thanks to something attacking his wife on the other ship.

"Well, uh... We'll have to talk about pay, of course."

"I would expect nothing less," Gregnol confirmed with a smirk. He had time to get someone in operations and get them sorted. One of the ships deserved that after all.


Rueben Gregnol
SS Mary Rose

Dr. Fordyce Kirschler
Chief of Operations
SS Mary Rose


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