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Rue Wydown

Commodities Market

Commodities Market

By Rue the Specter and Charlotte Matsumara


"So, what happen, Doll? Did the fur fly?"


Rue kicked Mason's boots off her coffee table as she crossed the room, "Just call me 'New Thatch'. Just like 'Thatch Classic' but less calories and sweeter taste." Within moments she'd stripped off the oversized grimy black jacket she'd used for camouflage, ditched her utility belt and kicked off her own well worn footwear, littering the floor with the flotsam and jetsam of tonight's adventures. She leaned her head against the cold bulkhead in front of the replicator for a few moments to try to soothe the oncoming headache. While she hadn't heard him approach, she soon felt a warm heavy calloused hand settle on her bare shoulder.


"Hey, she's a kid. They do these things."


"Only on a pirate ship do they do these things." Rue turned around and leaned her back against the wall. "In the real world, this isn't normal."


Mason gently tilted Rue's head up with a thumb to her chin. "The real world is boring, remember?" He caressed her chin with his thumb.


"Aye," She forced a smile, then sighed. Mason returned her tight smile, then slipped his hand around the back of her head and pulled her close so that her head rested on his shoulder. She wrapped her arms around him in a hug, snuggling her face into his shoulder for a moment and enjoying the reassuring hand rubbing the back of her neck and head. When she had collected herself, Rue leaned back with flashed a lopsided grin.


"Oh no, I know that look."


"Oh yeah…show time."



He flipped the datachip from one hand to another as he strolled leisurely down the corridor. Empty, excellent. The Doctor's handler had done his research, studied Charlotte Matsumara's background, knew the woman was having difficulty fitting with the crew in with her Imperial background, and her distrust of those murderers, thieves, and pirates that now surrounded her on a day to day basis. He was hoping his judgment was right and she'd be hungry enough to win points with the command staff.


Mason strolled brazenly up to Charlotte's desk and planted his lanky arse on it. "Hey there sweet cakes. Want to help me find a few blokes holdin' stolen property?"


Charlotte arched a brow over her left eye, reaching for the PADD he just alighted onto, pulling it out from under his lanky arse. "Stolen property? Isn't that what pirates do best?" She scrolled through the PADD.


"Oi, but when ye steal from designated stash, ye steal from the Cap'n. And ye don't want to make the Cap'n unhappy, sweet cheeks. So if ya find the stash..." He let his voice trail off enough to let her fill in the blanks.


Charlotte lowered the PADD, still glaring. "Fine. How long has it been since the items were stolen?


"Approximately twelve hours ago. Narcotics. Morphine to be specific. I got names, if that helps."


"You already know who took the items? Was this why you didn't report the theft immediately?"


He shrugged innocently. "We're keeping it on the down low. Besides the people who stole the product aren't important. It's those who are holdin' it that are. It's the product I need back."


"Yes, well, the people will lead you to the product. Even you should be able to figure that out."


"No, mate. You don't get it. I need to get the product back before they consume it or know it's missing. And I need someone like you to help."


"So... the pirate needs a ninja? Well, a samurai?" Charlotte smirked at Mason.


"Aye, someone with your...skills...could be very beneficial to the operation. You up for it?"


Charlotte turned to the security console, "Twelve hours ago, you said." She attempted to pull up the security feeds. "Cargo hold….?"


Mason tried keep his demeanor friendly, but he was already starting to second guess this choice. Boy she's thick. He flashed a smarmy smile. "Ah," He reached over and turned the console off, "Like I said. I've all ready got the names of those who are holding. Don't need to waste time on that." He was pretty sure that Left Ear had already wiped the video feed anyway. "Ms Jorantos - she be in science. Carson in security. The two of them have one packet each. And Mikas and Galtor, both in engineering, are splitting a packet. So either one of them could be holding it."


Charlotte leaned back, folding her arms across her chest. "All right. What, exactly, did you have in mind then? Elementary B&E?"


"Yeah, possibly. Not sure about Jorantos, but the other three are probably stupid enough to leave it plain sight. Should be easy peasey -- but it's got to be done quietly and quickly. Before full cache gets shipped off for sale. I can make it worth your while…" Mason flashed the datachip with Rue's reward money details stored on it. "You in?"


"Only if you stop calling me 'sweet cheeks.'"


"As you wish, honey bunch."



Charlotte gave a quiet growl at the latest in what was probably going to be a long line of 'pet' names. It was one thing that never would have happened on an Imperial ship: Anyone making a sloppy pass like that would have soon found themselves called to captain's mass for harassment. But times were different now -- her whole world was different now -- and that required adaptation...something she was slow in coming to.


It wasn't that she was thick; she was simply accustomed to things happening in a specific order. A robbery took place, and it was reported as soon as possible. When it was discovered who had perpetrated the crime, they were then arrested, tried, and punished. If the value of the items was high enough, either in credits or intrinsic terms, it was possible they disappeared, never to be heard from again. Thus, there were processes and methods to deal with thieves. Stealing the items back wasn't necessarily in the official Imperial playbook.


Then again, neither is helping pirates hijack a ship, she reminded herself. For not the first time since the actual takeover, she wondered at the wisdom of assisting the cutthroats.


Pursing her lips, she pulled up the rudimentary duty roster that had been cobbled together by the "command staff." Mikas and Galtor, unsurprisingly, worked the same shift in engineering; Carson was on next, serving as officer of the watch in security. The wild card was Jorantos. From what she had observed in Sciences, the "department head" didn't keep a close watch on her personnel. Thus, when it said that Jorantos was on Alpha shift, it could mean she showed up sometime during Alpha shift; there was no guarantee when she would be out of her quarters long enough to conduct a search.


As she began to formulate a plan, something else struck Charlotte: Mason was attempting to keep the command staff out of the loop. That meant there was someone he was trying to protect. She made a note to check out the cargo bay herself. Information was an important commodity – both as an Imperial officer and as a pirate. And Charlotte suspected that the identity of the thief would fetch a hefty price, sooner or later.

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