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Pay Day

Posted on Thursday April 1st, 2021 @ 4:16pm by Wraet tr'Melanth & Adam Rayner

Mission: Marauder's Map
Location: Wraet's Office, USS Walraven
1358 words - 2.7 OF Standard Post Measure

If he were honest with himself, it was still a little strange to be aboard a real Starfleet vessel again. Even though some time had passed since the Latinum Guardians had made their new home aboard the California-class, it still felt like a lost memory. A final few steps brought the young man to the point just a step outside the proximity sensor of the door. Adam took a moment to brush off any wrinkles or dust that may have accumulated in the walk from his own quarters. Satisfied that he was at his best, the Lieutenant pressed the door chime to Wraet's quarters.

The door didn't open right away. There should be no one on the ship unknown to Wraet, but should was word used by people who were tired of living, and even once he was certain of the caller's identity there were certain non-standard-issue recently installed safety measures to disable. However, having done that, he took a seat and triggered the door to open. "Come in, Lieutenant Rayner. Have a seat."

Living a good majority of his adult life in the Empire had taught Adam to be quick and subtle as his eyes did a quick threat assessment of the room he was entering. Sure, it was technically his boss' quarters, but the life of a mercenary guaranteed that loyalty only went as far as the stream of latinum. Sitting down at the offered chair, the Human betrayed a wry smile as he said, "It's that time again." Every time it was latinum day, as the mercs called it, Adam could not help but think about the Jem Hadar and the white. Were they any different? It probably did not matter much.

With nod, Wraet unlocked a drawer, removing the case he'd put there a day prior in anticipation. In general the Latinum Guard were trustworthy, particularly those who had joined to escape the Dominion so understood well the benefits of the arrangement with the Empire, but it was good practice to keep the actual location of ones tangible funds a secret. Besides, while he had read the file on the Lieutenant's father, he wasn't yet that acquainted with the son, or with how much the son knew or cared about his father. "Here it is," he said, placing the case on the desk. "Payment as agreed. Your guards performed well, though assisting with restoring old starship systems in not in your mandate. I will recommend a bonus be included in the next payment."

"We most definitely appreciate the bonus," Adam replied, not bothering to open the case. It was part of the understanding. He had no doubt the case of latinum had been counted and recounted a number of times. If the count was wrong, it would jeopardize what to this point had been a good working relationship with the Guardians. "In a purely pragmatic sense, making the ship functional helped ensure that we would live on to fight another day," Adam pointed out.

"A good attitude," Wraet remarked, allowing a slight smile. They had spent slightly more time than had originally been planned scrounging components to bring the phaser banks to life and allow for the assembly of a few torpedoes, but it had been worth it in his opinion, as had the effort of fitting the cloak he'd supplied. "The ship is barebones by old Federation standards, but quite acceptable. How are you and your company finding the accommodations?"

"They are quiet acceptable, I don't know when the last time I was able to have my own quarters while on assignment," Adam admitted. Even for a mothballed Federation starship, he could still see the comfort that went into ship designs of the period. Smiling a little, the mercenary added, "You probably haven't seen some of the places a few clients have made us sleep." The ship would not stand up to an attack, it simply was not ready. But, it was getting there.

Wraet chuckled. "You might be surprised..." Given that he'd been sent in to scout a few of sites where Latinum Guards had been sent, he not only had some idea but had possibly slept in worse conditions since he'd spent days buried under the sand and breathing through a hollow reed on at least one of those occasions. "Enjoy them, and work out what measures you need to provide your unit whatever security you require. Once the ship is closer to battle ready we intend to use her to liberate prisoners and we can't know the mental state of all of them - I have seen cases where some of the most abused develop a strange devotion to their overseers."

"I believe it was called Stokholm Syndrome," Adam tried to remember, "you also can't rule out enemy agents hidden among the prisoners." Thinking for a moment, Rayner went over a few easy fixes that would allow the Latinum Guardians their privacy and safety while not creating too much of a burden for the current crew. "We could block off access to our unit, keep it to one entrance and exit point. The Guardians could run security on those choke points. Weapons and sensitive meeting rooms could be centrally located within the quarantine zone to make it more difficult for lost souls to do anything... regrettable." Nodding to his plan, the Lieutenant looked back to Wraet, "I can have it to you on a PADD in a couple of hours."

"Very good." Wraet smiled. The Lieutenant had struck him as young, even by the standards of humans, to lead a contingent, but like so many from the remnants of the Federation he seemed to have an understanding beyond his years. Though not so far beyond as to approach Wraet's years. He slid a PADD across the desk. "These are the measures I'd sketched out so far. Just a rough outline - surveillance, triggers for internal shields, a few other interdiction and countermeasures against unauthorized access. Perhaps it will save you a little time."

After giving the PADD a browse, Adam nodded. The security measures were very Romulan, meaning that they were near perfect for the situation. It had contingencies for contingencies and a few redundant security measures. “Looks about right,” Adam replied. He would implement them mostly as ordered, but experience taught him to make a few minor changes in case the planner left a back door. Thinking about that only made the Lieutenant realize that he had been living in the Empire so long that he was beginning to think like a Romulan. “Aside from tightening security and assisting with repair work, do we have any other orders?” he asked.

"Not at present. Our current priority is ship readiness." To someone else he might have added readying your people for combat, but with the Latinum Guard that was so much a given that voicing it would be an insult. Perhaps especially for a young man who had been fighting since he could hold a weapon. "When we are ready, targeted assault and extraction will become priorities, but I trust you have been prepared for that for sometime. Unless there are any questions or issues that require my attention, you are dismissed."

"Yes, sir," Adam replied simply. Indeed while not performing mission specific duties, the Latinum Guardians were trained to split time maintaining equipment and weapons, training, and fitness. "I do have one request," the Lieutenant began. "Once the prpiority systems are operational and resources can be devoted to the holodecks, I would like to request time for the Latinum Guardians to engage in mission specific training."

"Of course. I can think of little better use for them." Training was the reason to have holodecks, at least in Wraet's Galae-formed opinion. "Until then I will assign Cargo Bay 6, and the adjacent shuttle bay should you require it, to the Latinum Guard for use as a training center. I'll trust you to scrounge whatever materials can be spared for that." He was sure there would enough for at least a decent obstacle course in the debris the engineer had insisted on picking up 'in case it might be useful'.


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